Brian Armstrong

How to Choose the Right Business Idea to Pursue


What a great surprise! Your book is an excellent source of knowledge, and your ideas are inspiring. Unfortunately, I am feeling the way you state in your book: tired, frustrated, sick of helping others make money!

Web has always been on my blood, and I have developed several websites in the past. Reading your book made me think about using that skills to create my own business. My recent ideas are: city travel guides, with a catchy name and a high-quality content. Other idea (much bigger) would be to create something alike the company where I am right now: a classifieds website. The UK/France/US/Germany markets are very strong on this subject, but my idea would be to create a specialized classified website.

Hoping on your answers, opinions and suggestions. Once more, congratulations on your success. I am on my way to finish your book and I clearly feel motivated by your words, your teaching and the quotations you choose from famous entrepreneurs.

Best regards, Rui (from Portugal, in London)

Hi Rui.

Thanks for the email and kind words! I think you are off to the right start. I like both your ideas of a travel guide and classified site, but for separate reasons.

The travel guide could be good as a blog, or similar business. Just be aware here that you will have to create a lot of content for it over time, so that burden will be on you unless you can get guest authors. Make sure it’s a topic you love.

Also, it’s fine to target it locally just don’t get too specific or there won’t be a wide enough audience to build a big business. This guy was able to target his car blog to Australia even though there were lots of other car sites and that differentiation worked for him, just as an example. He talks about this more in the interview mp3.

The classified site could be better as a forum or community site like that. It will take work to promote it up front, but the benefit is that the users will be generating most of the content after it gets going, not you, so it will be more passive down the road.

Both of these types of sites could produce good advertising revenue once they get going. It won’t be easy but I bet you could start a few of them and put a year into it to really get it going and it would work.

You are certainly on the right track, and it is so easy to put these type of sites up today that it shouldn’t take too long. Doesn’t hurt to try a few out and see what takes off.

One final idea: if you are trying to find a good topic for a blog/forum/classified site like this, try going to a giant magazine rack at a bookstore and look at all the topics out there. If there is a magazine about a topic (cars, business, celebrities, health, minorities, etc) then you can be sure it has enough of an audience to make a business out of. This has been one of the best ways I’ve found…you can just browse the magazine and think “is there already a GOOD website out there that is addressing these readers?” If not you can be the first to make it!

Thanks and good luck! Brian