Magonova and Partners

Play poker with bankers, go to the museum. 3 ways to find a business idea that will propel your company

Play poker with bankers, go to the museum. 3 ways to find a business idea that will propel your company

Anastasia Magonova spoke about how to find good ideas for your business in the column for MC.Today:

Sometimes we get lost in the flows of information about successful global startups. An article about Ryan Ross, the youngest entrepreneur in the world, you read while having a cup of coffee in the morning and some notes on a blockchain while having lunch. There is a banquet of tweets and didactic quotes by Jack Ma, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos in the evening. They are noble people, for sure, but the desire to create your own stuff is always there.

What prevents you from coming up with ideas

We end up in the pose of Rodin's statue "The Thinker" in our creative attempts trying to define a new business idea. Suddenly, thoughts about bills, promises to call parents and a dog you need to walk run through your head like an arrow from a bow. A new episode of a podcast is also right here, and you have never had time for it. 
Daily routines weight you down. We jump up, sit down in front of our laptop and absorb the content of successful businessmen again. But ideas never come.

Where to search for ideas

1. Art

Read books, visit museums, theatres, concerts. Art expands the boundaries of our consciousness, we see unfamiliar shapes, colours and meanings. New knowledge brings ideas. Here’s an example.
I am the founder of Kosatka.Media news agency. When I was hatching the idea of creating a website about energy, I wondered: "Well, there are many websites like that, what can distinguish me from competitors?"

I got it when I went to the Museum of Modern Art. Of course, what I publish is important. But the main thing is the form of this information.

The design has become a shtick. I was buying books about contemporary art, choosing shapes and colours. The hours spent developing the style of the infographics have paid off. They became the key product, which in the beginning brought the company's income.

2. Extraordinary people

If you are a humanities-minded person, talk to mathematicians, if you are a salesman, have a drink with theatre actors. Go on a yoga retreat, visit an agricultural trade fair, or play poker with bankers. People are different. But they willingly share their experience and that’s the source of ideas.

I decided to create a new direction in Magonova & Partners – Government Relations. But once again I had to find out how to be different from others. I came up with an idea to combine two different spheres - advocacy and IT. A former employee of an IT company became the head of the GR department. We collect data on laws, who voted, who did not, classify them into groups and, based on analytics, support bills and reforms.

The direction has become so successful that we are developing a concept for an IT product for GR experts, which will help many companies and the lobbying field develop.

3. Mundane observations

Scan the habits of other people and notice their problems, as well as yours. Nowadays, comfort is a new religion. Stores deliver groceries and clothes to any part of the world, you buy tickets for a flight via clicking, and pay with your phone.

Try to make others' lives easier and more comfortable. When Magonova & Partners was formed, we conducted a couple of press tours and noticed that journalists often lacked the data close at hand during press conferences.

Instead of checking the accuracy of the information and asking a clarifying question, reporters have to write down the information and check it by the time the speaker will have left.

For Journalist's Day, we decided to make a gift. An energy journalist's notebook. It was an ordinary notebook, but with analytics on energy markets for past reporting periods. We only made a pilot batch. We sent it to colleagues and received feedback.

Perhaps you have come up with a successful business idea a long time ago, but have not dared to pull it off. It didn’t work or a friend made fun of you sarcastically. This happens, because people often do not believe in what they cannot do themselves.
Believe in yourself.