There are moments when you can achieve the greatest level of clarity and productivity. Moments when, after trying to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing, you absolutely understand and know what you need to do next, and how to do it. This is the spark. That moment where you can get in the zone and be productive, creative and effective.
I’ve been wondering about how to get the spark more often. In the last few months I’ve experienced it several times, and I believe I understand what you need to get there. To put it in some context, we’ll look at it from the perspective of creating something for an existing market of your choice.
A lot of folks out there don’t know where to start - people want to know where they should spend their time and get the most out of it - as quickly as possible. Go look at Quora - it’s littered with questions like “Which industry should I start a business with as little investment as possible?” That’s the million dollar question. That answer is really different for everybody. If you’re out there creating an app for the millennials, you’re going to need a different perspective if you want to create the best socks for 85 year olds - so the answer is never the same. And nothing worth doing is easy. Sometimes being in the niche markets is actually a lot more lucrative than hopping on the latest product or technology trend. Hopefully the list bellow can narrow down some possibilities and get you to your spark closer. It’s a list I’d like to refine and revisit down the line. It’s definitely something to explore further.
The secret is to Narrow. If you want to get to the spark - you need to Narrow.
- Pick the market (or the niche) in which you want to play - If you don’t know how to do that, then you’ll need to spend some time here, dive into your interests and your passions and do some soul searching. You can be passionate about photography - and you can eventually narrow your niche and get to become GoPro or 3DR.
- Research and absorb that market and the markets around it - If you want to get into the 1-5 y/o toy industry, you probably should be aware of whats going on in that industry and what products are out there.
- Research and understand the adjacent industries. Yes this will take some time - but, it can give you some new ideas on what your main niche isn’t doing. A lot of companies are influenced by adjacent industries, and the adjacent industries tend to have their own adjacent industries. What this gives you is breadth of possibility. If you only look at one company - your breadth is limited. If you open that horizon a little - you’ll see whats possible.
- Read up on the latest surrounding those markets/industries. Daily. It’s best to have your finger on the pulse of the action - Otherwise there will be people who will spot the latest opportunity before you will.
- Know the major players in that market (niche). Find out what they do well - find out their vulnerabilities. Look for them - they’re there.
- Find the time in your day (every day) to keep yourself updated on the latest trends. If you’re in design - then make sure you’re reading up on the latest product releases, analyzing the latest trends and the like. If you’re in manufacturing - what are the latest materials and processes?
What the above will do is feed your creative side and provide a constant information flow. If you form the habit of doing the proper research in a specific market, looking at the right stuff and feeding your brain, constantly narrowing- you’ll have the spark. The ideas will come from every angle.
The trick is to do it constantly. Find an hour or 2 out of your day and start. Research - Read - Narrow down. It might just work.
This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking.