I did a small survey of some startups that have popped up in the last 20 years. Almost none of them are solving new problems. They are leveraging new tech to solve age old problems. Transportation, hospitality, communication. In fact 90% of them are applications of SOFTWARE to age old problems. There has been an exponential explosion of innovation in the last 40 years and it all points to 2 things: computers and the internet. This led me to try and boil down what software makes so much better that it would cause a gold rush of applying this new tech to every old problem we can find. Here’s how it went down:
Real-time insight into your information. Normally very labor intensive to aggregate your data, you can filter, sort and group data into time series and trends instantly and in infinite combinations. You can save these “views” into your data into dashboards. This was obviously extremely valuable to businesses and was the first boom for computing. Billion dollar businesses are still being built and sold solving this very old problem.
Cheap simulations, conceptualizations and experimentation. Undo vs whiteout. Editing long text reflows layout, etc.
important up to date information available everywhere
work on the same thing together from anywhere and no bumping elbows. Content creation, markets, gaming
your information backed up automatically to multiple locations. Office can burn down or destroyed in earthquake and never lose your information.
information protected by a password in your head and multi-factor authentication can, in theory, be more secure than written on sticky notes.
blockhain and cryptography allow strangers to interact and collaborate with practical guarantees of no cheating.
Automation and prediction
save time and work by figuring out things for you. Suggesting things you might like or want to do. Perform actions automatically.
So here’s the formula for building a software startup: Choose an industry you are passionate about and see what problems they have that these software solutions can solve.