Some entrepreneurs seem to have a knack for finding moneymaking opportunities. Here’s how they do it. It happens all the time. A new technology, idea, or scene emerges. A handful of pioneers jump on it, often purely for fun. Eventually some entrepreneur figures out a way to turn the innovation into a profitable business. A handful of other companies follow suit. Before long, business after business tries to replicate the successes of those that came before them. Inevitably a large percentage of them fail. Then a hot new technology, idea, or scene emerges and the cycle continues anew.
So what is it that separates entrepreneurs that have mastered the trick of finding profitable ideas from those that get there at the wrong time?
Spotting the Hot Spot
One thing that all successful entrepreneurs have in common is that they have the ability to spot the right opportunities. It’s not as easy as it might sound. If you get in too early, there’s a good chance the technology or trend will be too complex or weird for anyone but die-hard enthusiasts. If you get in too late, the amount of competition will simply be too difficult to overcome.
Successful entrepreneurs combat these roadblocks by looking for signals that indicate that an opportunity is in the “hot spot” (not too early, not too late). They do this is by keeping an eye out for a combination of two factors– momentum and imperfection.
Take my industry as an example. In the online marketing world, blogging is now commonly accepted as necessary for anyone that wants to drive attention to his or her business. Blog posts are easy to upload and even easier to access and read. While a company will have a hard time succeeding in 2014 without a powerful blog, it is no longer enough to make you stand out.
Podcasting is a different story. Podcasts have been around for a while and they’re more popular than ever before. However, the technology used to access them isn’t entirely seamless yet. And unlike blogs, podcasting applications are still a bit cumbersome to work with.
However, podcasting apps and broadcasting technology are getting easier to use. Even car manufacturers are beginning to talk about including built-in gear to let people easily listen to their favorite podcasts on their consoles. So, for now at least, an astute entrepreneur has a real opportunity to get into this exploding area before the hordes descend.
What does it take to be able to spot this unique combination of momentum and perfection? Freakish talent? Magical powers? None of the above. It is simply the result of learning what to look for and building the habit of keeping your eyes open.
BY Michael Schein | Columnist | Founder and principal of Michael Schein Communications