Do you have big brain startup ideas? We talked to Greg Isenberg, VC investor and co-founder and CEO of Late Checkout, about where he gets his product ideas and how his team comes up with great new products. 

How to Come Up with Great New Product Ideas with Greg Isenberg, Co-founder of Late Checkout

Get a look inside the Isenberg idea factory with some of the takeaways from our conversation with the man himself during this year’s Powderkeg Unvalley virtual conference. Here are three ways Greg generates great ideas:

  1. The Great Unbundling. Think about the new developments that would come from unbundling an existing company. In 2010, Andrew Parker wrote a post about how companies have carved out niches that were originally under the CraigsList umbrella. For example, apartment rentals could be AirBnb, and ticket sales could be StubHub. Is there a way to unbundle an existing company – to take the threads of what that company does and create other ideas? For more on this approach, read Greg’s post, The Ultimate Guide to Unbundling Reddit.
  2. The Anti-Incumbency Strategy. This is a term that originally came from the political world, but it fits here, too. Examine an existing company, and brainstorm some options that are in opposition to that model or platform. If you wanted to create the anti-Spotify, what would that look like? Would it be a “social-first” version of Spotify? A verticalized Spotify that only focused on classical music? Or something entirely different?
  3. “X for Y” ideas. Can you adapt something that is working well, and create it for a different audience? For example, Morning Brew is a daily email that delivers business headlines to subscribers every morning. Could you create a Morning Brew for a different audience, like real estate agents or older adults? 

Sip n’ think. Greg’s other suggestion for coming up with ideas is to have a couple of glasses of wine and go for a walk – so that’s always a possibility too!

Expand your mind. We also asked Greg, “What can the Unvalley learn from the Valley, as they’re working on their own ideas and building startups between the coasts?”

He answered:

“Think big. Then think bigger. Come up with your biggest idea, and write that down. Then go to sleep that night and wake up the next morning. Look at your idea again and say, ‘How can I make it even bigger?’”

Listen to the interview with Greg for more ways to turbo-charge your thinking.