How do successful founders find their idea?

Hey everyone!
I’m new here on the Indiehackers community. Like all of you, I want to learn how to build a successful indie product. Every day I see more and more examples of people with successful products but I find it hard to reverse engineer how they arrived at it.

So I was thinking, why not just ask them how they did it? I realise that successful products have two characteristics -

  1. It solves a genuine problem
  2. It has at least a moderate numbers of users using the product

Keeping that in mind, I want to ask successful founders three questions

  1. How did they come across the idea?
  2. How did they validate the idea?
  3. How did they acquire the initial customers?

Would you guys/gals be interested in an exercise like this? I would talk to a founder each week and post updates here in the forum.

Let me know if I should invest my time into this :)

EDIT: Damon Chen is in. Kenneth Cassel is in! Let me know if you have any founders in mind

Should I do this?
  1. Yes 😄
  2. No 😄
  1. 3
    1. It solves a genuine problem
    2. How did they validate the idea?

    As you've pointed out, it starts with a genuine problem, so validating the problem comes first before validating the idea.

    1. 2

      Hey there Abishek, thanks for your response. I’ll keep that in mind!

  2. 2

    I think how the idea became successful is the most important conversation to have and if it involves all three, then yes do that.

    1. 2

      No only that but a knowing the starting point of the founder. Everyone starts from different places, everyone has different advantages and disadvantages.
      Some launch products while already having built an audience. While others start the product to build the audience. Some code and work in their free time after work. Others saved up and quit their jobs to work on their project full time. Everyone is different (but we are all the same 😄)

  3. 2

    You should try it out. I like the idea. I'm especially interested in 1.

    1. 1

      Thanks for letting me know Gabriel ! I’ll post updates here soon!

  4. 2

    👉 Real-world examples of successful founders finding ideas

    👉 Best guide on the web for how to brainstorm new business ideas

    1. 1

      @channingallen - Both links are pointing to the same article. Am i missing something?

    2. 1

      Hi @channingallen ! Thanks for your response. I’m adding the two articles to my reading list right away.

      I’m also gonna add you to the list of founders I want to interview :)

  5. 2

    I really like this idea, go for it! Especially the third question would be interesting to me as I'm still exploring options to acquire my first (right) customers.

    1. 1

      Thanks Rathes! I’m happy to know that you are interested! Are there any other questions that you would like for me to ask?

  6. 1

    Thanks everyone for the response! Overwhelming majority of people have said that I should go ahead with this. I have already messaged couple of people on Twitter. If you have some names in mind, feel free to let me know.

  7. 1

    Great idea! Can you also ask them abot their background and career experiences and how it has helped their current business. Thank you

  8. 1

    I think successful founders find their ideas the same way unsuccessful ones do.

    The idea itself has very little to do with who's successful and who isn't.

    1. 1

      What do you think determines success? I think problem, solution and execution all are equally important

      1. 1

        I agree completely - hence little value in the idea alone as a defining factor towards success, however that is defined.

    1. 1

      I’ll check this out! Thanks :)

  9. 1

    +1 I'm into it.

    Another question I'd love to hear answers to is: how did they think about building their idea? Did they evaluate different potential solutions? How long did it take and what were the resources put in?

    Any info on this ☝️would be sweet.

    1. 1

      Hey Thomas,
      Could you elaborate on this

      how did they think about building their idea?

      Do you mean the tech stack?

      1. 2

        Ya! For me, there's a question in between "how they validated" and "how they got initial customers".

        What did they make and how did they make it? Less concerned with tech stack (but could be that). Could also be no-code tools!

        Sometimes I'm surprised when someone tells me how they made something. In my head I've built up this complicated solution but maybe they just clicked a button and used some app 😅 maybe it's just me that's curious.

        Anyway, great idea!

        1. 1

          Thanks Thomas! I’ll be sure to include this :)

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