Is Your Idea Great

How To Pick Great Business Ideas

In the modern business world, it’s important to understand that merely jumping on a trend is not enough. To ensure longevity and sustainable growth, businesses must carve out a distinct edge—a significant advantage over their competition. One of the ways to secure this advantage is by tapping into areas with a clear market gap, or by leveraging regulatory, behavioral, or technological changes.

Here’s a deeper look into how this can be accomplished.

Identifying Clear Gaps in the Market

To outpace the competition, businesses need to identify market segments that are underserved or overlooked. This involves a rigorous process of market research, data analysis, and consumer feedback.

The goal is to discover a need or demand that hasn't been met, or not adequately addressed. By doing so, a business can position itself as the primary provider of a solution, service, or product, reducing the impact of competition and increasing its market share.

Identifying clear gaps in the market is typically not easy. They may appear contrarian at first glance.

One example of exploiting a gap in the market was our review of the Green Noise trend. As you may recall, we discovered that Green Noise was an untapped trend that we identified from looking at SEO data. There was a ton of search interest for this, but not much supply of content. This provided us an opportunity to exploit a gap in the market. As a result, in the first month we had a profit of $330. Here’s the tweet with more info.

A great way to identify gaps in the market is to use SEO tools like (this is my favorite). SEO tools, or search engine optimization tools allow you to gain visibility into what people are searching on Google.

Above is an example of what an Ahrefs search for “cold plunge” looks like.

In the “volume” column you can see for a given search term, how much search volume there is. You can also see in the “KD” column a ranking score listed. This number is between 0-100. Anything under 10 is typically considered “easy”. So if you find something with a 1 for example “diy cold plunge tub”, this will be easy to rank on Google for. The search volume for this query is 700 searches per month.

Meaning if you rank on the front page of Google you have the potential to attract up to 700 people per month just from Google. There’s also a screenshot in the next column of a graph, this shows the search growth over time. For this search query specifically, the graph is skyrocketing. This is great news, one could expect that this is a good trend to capitalize on that exploits a gap in the market. There is more demand than supply, therefore an opportunity which is somewhat undersaturated and could give you market tailwinds.

What Are Market Tailwinds?

Market tailwinds refer to conditions or situations that boost the potential for success in a given industry or market. Just as a tailwind in aviation assists a plane in flying faster without using more fuel, market tailwinds help businesses achieve growth or enhanced performance without expending additional resources. These tailwinds can arise from various sources:

  • Economic Conditions: A strong economy can create a favorable environment for businesses to grow. Low unemployment, rising consumer confidence, and increased spending power are all positive tailwinds for various industries.

  • Technological Advancements: Breakthroughs or widespread adoption of certain technologies can act as tailwinds for sectors that can capitalize on them. For instance, the rise of internet usage in the late 1990s and early 2000s was a significant tailwind for e-commerce and online advertising.

  • Regulatory Changes: As will be discussed soon, changes in regulations can open new opportunities for businesses. For instance, deregulation in certain sectors can lead to increased competition and opportunities for innovative players.

  • Cultural or Behavioral Shifts: Changes in societal norms or behaviors can provide tailwinds to industries that align with these changes. The increased global awareness of sustainability and environmental concerns has been a tailwind for renewable energy sources and sustainable product brands.

  • Demographic Trends: Population changes, whether it's an aging population or a youth boom, can create tailwinds for industries tailored to these demographics. For instance, an aging population can lead to increased demand in healthcare services and products.

Recognizing and capitalizing on these tailwinds can lead to strategic advantages, helping you outpace competitors and achieve better-than-expected growth. Conversely, you should also be wary of headwinds – conditions that make growth and success more challenging.

What Are Market Headwinds?

Headwinds in a business or economic context refer to challenges or obstacles that hinder progress, growth, or success. Just as a headwind in aviation makes flight more challenging and requires more fuel, market headwinds make it tougher for businesses to achieve their goals. Here are some examples of headwinds:

  • Economic Recessions: Economic downturns can lead to reduced consumer spending, tighter credit conditions, and general financial uncertainty, making it challenging for businesses to grow or even maintain stability.

  • Technological Disruptions: New technologies can disrupt existing business models. For instance, streaming services like Netflix created headwinds for traditional cable TV and DVD rental businesses.

  • Regulatory and Legal Challenges: Unexpected regulatory changes or increased regulations can pose significant challenges. For example, stricter environmental regulations can create headwinds for industries deemed environmentally unfriendly.

  • Increased Competition: The entry of a formidable competitor or a saturated market can reduce a company's market share and profitability.

  • Geopolitical Tensions: Political instability, trade wars, or tensions between countries can disrupt supply chains, increase costs, or limit market access.

  • Cultural or Behavioral Shifts: Just as changing societal norms can create opportunities, they can also pose challenges. For instance, the movement towards healthier eating habits is a headwind for companies producing sugary or processed foods.

  • Supply Chain Disruptions: Natural disasters, pandemics, or strikes can disrupt a company's ability to produce or distribute its products.

  • Currency Fluctuations: For businesses operating internationally, fluctuating currency values can impact profitability, especially if a company's home currency strengthens, making its exports more expensive for foreign buyers.

  • Rising Operational Costs: Increases in the costs of raw materials, labor, or other operational necessities can squeeze profit margins.

  • Changing Consumer Preferences: A shift in what consumers want or deem valuable can lead to decreased demand for certain products or services.

Understanding potential headwinds is crucial as you strategize and plan for the future. By anticipating and preparing for these challenges, you can mitigate potential negative impacts and adapt more effectively to changing conditions.

Capitalizing on Momentum: How to Look for Tailwinds

The ability to identify and leverage tailwinds—those favorable conditions or trends that push a company forward—is a vital ingredient for success. These favorable conditions, which can range from technological advancements to shifts in consumer behavior, often hold the key to accelerated growth and a competitive edge.

So, how can we spot these forces?

Regular market research is foundational. Staying updated with the latest trends, insights, and data is paramount. This consistent analysis and interpretation of market data allow businesses to discern the direction in which the market is moving and thus anticipate emerging trends. To stay on top of these trends I like to use tools such as Google Trends,, and reading online business publications like

Understanding demographic shifts is crucial as well. For example, an aging population might indicate a burgeoning demand for healthcare services or products tailored to senior citizens, while a younger demographic might signify a growing appetite for innovative technologies or educational services.

Technological advancements are among the most potent tailwinds. By keeping a close eye on technological breakthroughs, you can be among the first to adopt and integrate these innovations, potentially revolutionizing business operations or offerings. But while technology is a critical factor, the voice of the consumer remains king. Businesses should actively seek feedback, engage with their audience, and be attentive to reviews. Such interactions can offer real-time insights into evolving needs and preferences, allowing businesses to align better with consumer-driven tailwinds. One thing to be aware of with technological advancements is that they’re prone to bubbles. As the internet has become more ubiquitous, narrative driven bubbles have become more frequent. For more info on this, read the book Narrative Economics. Narrative driven bubbles in the tech sector can been seen in the Dot Com boom, Cryptocurrency and AI boom. When pursuing a technological advancement that is experiencing a bubble, there is typically an influx of investment money during the bubble, and then it dries up after the bubble. So if you have a vision for a project in this space and you need investment, it would be wise to raise as much money as possible during the boom as it will be difficult to raise after the dust settles.

Regulatory and policy changes can offer significant tailwinds as well. Governments and regulatory bodies continually refine and amend laws and regulations. Businesses that stay updated on these policy shifts and can swiftly adapt to them position themselves to capitalize on any favorable changes. It's essential not to restrict one's perspective to local or even national trends. Global market trends, geopolitical shifts, and international consumer behaviors can be rich sources of untapped opportunities.

Identifying and leveraging tailwinds is a nuanced process, blending diligent research with keen observation and a readiness to adapt. Those businesses that excel in this skill not only benefit from favorable market conditions but also position themselves for enduring success in a continually evolving landscape. The quest then remains: are you primed to capture the next tailwind?

The 3 Best Opportunities

Capitalizing on Regulatory Change

Regulatory changes can create hurdles, but they can also present opportunities for the astute entrepreneur. When governments amend regulations or introduce new ones, it often shakes up the market. Some businesses struggle to adapt, but those that anticipate or quickly react to these changes can find themselves in an advantageous position.

For instance, if a government introduces tax breaks or incentives for renewable energy, businesses in that sector can leverage this by scaling operations, investing in research, or launching new products that align with the new regulatory environment. Being at the forefront of regulatory change can position a business as a leader in its sector.

Consider the scenario when governments around the world started cracking down on single-use plastics, citing environmental concerns. This regulatory change posed significant challenges for businesses heavily reliant on these plastics for packaging or product manufacturing. Many struggled to find suitable, cost-effective alternatives quickly.

However, for some entrepreneurs, this change was a golden opportunity. They saw a gap in the market for sustainable, eco-friendly packaging solutions. For instance, a startup could have developed biodegradable packaging made from seaweed extract or edible materials. With the new regulations making traditional plastics less viable, businesses and consumers alike were on the lookout for alternatives. By rapidly responding to the regulatory environment, a startup not only can address a pressing market need but also can position itself as a trailblazer in sustainable packaging solutions.

As larger corporations grappled with phasing out single-use plastics and incurred costs in redesigning their packaging, pursuing a tailwind like this can provide a head start. This headstart can be parlayed into partnerships, gaining contracts, and establishing a brand in an emerging niche, all thanks to a swift response to a regulatory change.

Harnessing Behavioral Change

Society is in a constant state of flux, with consumer behaviors and preferences shifting over time. Businesses that can tap into or even predict these behavioral changes stand to gain a competitive edge. For instance, the rise of health consciousness in recent decades has led to a boom in organic products, fitness regimes, and wellness apps.

Companies that recognized this shift early have benefited immensely. The key is to be observant, adaptive, and responsive to how consumers are evolving in their preferences, spending habits, and lifestyles.

Let’s get into an example…

With the advent of robust platforms like Shopify and the global reach of social media giants like Facebook, the stage was set for a seismic shift in retail.

Early on, a few astute entrepreneurs recognized an emerging trend: the rise of direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands. Instead of relying on traditional retail channels, these businesses would sell directly to the end consumer through online platforms. The model promised a more personalized shopping experience, quicker feedback loops, and, often, cost savings that could be passed on to the consumer.

Brands that were early adopters of this trend capitalized massively. By setting up streamlined e-commerce stores on Shopify and targeting potential customers with highly optimized ads on Facebook, they reached a global audience without the need for physical storefronts. Brands like Gymshark, Warby Parker, and Dollar Shave Club are just a few examples of companies that leveraged the D2C model to disrupt traditional market players.

This wasn't just about selling online; it was a complete shift in how businesses approached consumers. The direct interaction with customers provided brands with invaluable data, enabling them to refine products, enhance user experience, and build strong brand loyalty.

The rise of D2C brands is a prime example of how businesses that recognize and adapt to changing consumer behaviors early on can carve out a dominant position in the market. As with the health and wellness trend, the success mantra remains the same: observing societal shifts, understanding the evolving consumer psyche, and rapidly innovating to meet those new demands.

Leveraging Technological Change

Perhaps nothing reshapes industries quite like technological advancement. From the dawn of the internet to the proliferation of AI, businesses have been presented with both challenges and opportunities. Those who adapt and harness new technologies to improve operations, reach customers, or offer new products often find themselves miles ahead of competitors who cling to dated methods.

Consider the success stories of companies like Netflix and Amazon. They recognized the technological changes early, adapted, and disrupted entire industries.

For businesses, staying updated with technological trends and understanding their potential implications is not just beneficial—it's essential.

Technology changes are one of the main attractors of Silicon Valley investors. As previously discussed, the Dot Com boom, Cryptocurrency and AI have attracted billions of dollars in investment from Silicon Valley firms.

Although technological changes attract such a quick capital influx, they can also be extremely volatile due to the growing pervasiveness of market bubbles.

If you pursue this path, it’s something to keep in mind. With that said, this path can provide an enormous payoff if pursued and everything goes well.

Amazon came out of the Dot Com boom.

Typically groundbreaking businesses that emerge out of the dust of a narrative bubble have the potential to be the behemoths of tomorrow.


The essence of staying competitive in any market lies in finding that unique leverage, that 'edge,' which sets a business apart from the rest. This edge could be the result of a unique insight, a novel approach, or even a fusion of the old with the new. Often, it's the businesses that have the foresight to recognize and capitalize on major shifts—be it technological, behavioral, or regulatory—that leave an indelible mark on the industry.

Finding your edge requires a keen eye for changes on the horizon, an adaptive mindset, and the agility to pivot when necessary. Whether it's leveraging new technology in a traditional industry or positioning oneself in anticipation of behavioral or regulatory shifts, the goal is to stand out. To be that business that doesn't just keep up but sets the pace.

In a world where change is the only constant, businesses must ask themselves: How can we find our edge? How can we turn challenges into opportunities? And, most importantly, how can we stay not just one, but several steps ahead? By leaning into these pivotal changes and embracing innovation, businesses can craft their unique success story, ensuring they're not just participants in the market but leaders defining its very contours.