Bet on Trends

As I’ve mentioned in my humble business ideation article, one of the best strategies for humble entrepreneurs without a huge marketing budget is to bet on trends. Big companies are typically too slow to move quickly enough. And if a market is still small when you enter it, it will be much easier to get the attention of customers. When the market then explodes, your business will grow accordingly. This way, “the market you’re in will determine most of your growth,” to quote Sahil Lavingia.

Since this is the strategy that was used by most humble entrepreneurs who made it big, it’s makes sense to discuss it in a bit more detail.

Thus if you want to come up with good humble business ideas, it makes a lot of sense to monitor upcoming trends. Four websites that can help you to do this are:

Another good method is to follow interesting people like Andrew Wilkinson, Andrew Chen, and Adam Keesling on Twitter. It’s not really that important who you follow (but at all costs avoid people who talk about politics). As long as you’re on the platform, each hypetrain will somehow find its way into your timeline.

A few examples for trends that took off recently:

  • digital nomadism,
  • cryptocurrencies,
  • tiny houses,
  • minimalism,
  • podcasting,
  • the text renaissance

Ideally, you not just jump on hypetrains that are already rolling but find them before they take off. Since it is impossible to say with certainty what the next hype will be, it can be valuable to position yourself with some kind of minimal product in different niches that you identified as potentially promising. So ask yourself, what topics are in a pre-trend stage right now?

A few examples for pre-trends from the top of my mind:

  • polygamy,
  • bodymodifcations (e.g. for health tracking purposes),
  • self-farming,
  • stateless citizens.

A valuable perspective also might be to ask yourself: what kind of unbundling will probably happen soon?

It’s not enough to identify trends early. You also have to move quickly. After all this is real advantage of humble entrepreneurs. With a bit of experience you’ll be able to build minimum viable product in a week or over a weekend. So ask yourself, what can you build to be ready when the hypetrain really takes off?

For example, for each note-taking tool that becomes really popular, there is a market for people who want to turn a few of their notes into a presentable website. For example:

Now that Roam is the talk of the town, you could try to find a way that allows user to turn Roam notes into a nice-looking, SEO-friendly website.

Lastly take note that, of course, not all trends equally suited. For example, the trend to make education freely available to everyone might be hard to monetize. The best kind of trends are goldrushs.

Written on July 24, 2020
P.S. I'm now on Twitter too if you'd like to follow my adventures. Alternatively you can enter your email address below and I will send you occasionally a short email whenever I publish something new.