Have you ever built a product that no one wanted? In the process you had spent countless hours, even some of your savings. You desperately wanted it to succeed.
After desperation fades away enthusiasm settles in. Hyped up by the notion that this time you will work harder and “maybe this time it will stick”, you started picking the wrong brain — yours — for ideas what to do next. The problem here is these ideas come from you.
But you are not the one who will be paying for the results of your work.
Still, next time you get in the vicious cycle of ideas again… We live in the “do more” culture. This makes it hard to doubt your approach, so you start questioning the amount of your efforts instead.
Breaking out of the vicious cycle
What is the alternative to ideas? Research!
Next time you come up with an idea, stop! Instead look at the problems people have. If you want someone to pay for your work they have to need it first. Needs show people are experiencing some kind of pain or facing a problem. Observe, and enough problems will show up. Problems people actually have and would pay to have them solved.
Once you get a real problem faced by a number of people it will be much easier for you to find how you can solve it. No more fantasising and building first, then searching for people who need this. If you want to make money you have to be sure there is someone who is going to pay for the work you are putting in.
Ideas are for rich people
If you don’t need to profit from your project you can do it any way you want. You can optimise for pleasure or learning, solely based on your desires. Remember how this is called? A hobby.
Do you want to have a hobby or a profitable business? Keep fooling yourself with your ideas or create valuable products based on real needs of real people?
Find where people complain and listen. This is gold. These complaints will direct what you build next.