The Entrepreneur Forum | Financial Freedom | Starting a Business | Motivation | Money | Success

Welcome to the only entrepreneur forum dedicated to building life-changing wealth.

Build a Fastlane business. Earn real financial freedom. Join free.

Join over 80,000 entrepreneurs who have rejected the paradigm of mediocrity and said "NO!" to underpaid jobs, ascetic frugality, and suffocating savings rituals— learn how to build a Fastlane business that pays both freedom and lifestyle affluence.

Free registration at the forum removes this block.

For tech entrepreneurs short on ideas...

Idea threads


Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
User Power
Value/Post Ratio
Jul 20, 2017
Seattle, WA USA
I found this a while back and wanted to share. I found it on Jason Kottke's site, but it was originally posted as a comment on HackerNews.

To generate startup ideas, first pick an industry. Ask someone in that industry what they currently use spreadsheets for. Then, go build a purpose-built solution for that problem.

This works because spreadsheets are a generalized solution used for lots of problems. If you need to capture some data or build some kind of process quickly, a spreadsheet might do the trick although it probably won't do it well. If you can gain an understanding of the problem, you can probably build a much better solution that saves your customers time.

It's a brilliant method because this question is a great way to get at asking, "What's a problem that costs you money?" without asking it outright.

Hope this helps someone build something awesome and make some money! I'd love to hear anyone else's shortcuts to come up with startup ideas.
Dislike ads? Remove them and support the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.


Perpetual Motion
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
User Power
Value/Post Ratio
Mar 12, 2016
Are you aware of any ideas generated by this method ?


Legendary Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
User Power
Value/Post Ratio
Oct 3, 2015
Phoenix, AZ


Silver Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
User Power
Value/Post Ratio
Jun 28, 2018
Holbeach Hurn
I love this idea. Not only as a way of asking but of modelling, get your hands on the template of their spreadsheet and you can quickly start modelling the app. You can get one thrown up on a server and accessed by remote control in browser much cheaper than building an app.

I built something like this once, for 3 servers you can hack something together that lets people connect with just a browser to your app running locally. Sure it's not multi tenannted, all singing and dancing but it could let you test it easily with multiple people a lot cheaper than building the app. Get customer orders first.

What do you use a spreadsheet for?

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Guest post submissions offered HERE.

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.