Tag Archives: Idea Generation
Dan Novaes has been a serial entrepreneur since the age 16 when he first launched a tech company called Elekteks. which grossed over $2 million in 2010. You can think of Dan as the master of business execution - he consistently thinks of creative ideas and then acts on them. check out this interview if you are looking for some inspiration regarding moving forward with an idea.
In this interview, we cover:
- How Dan won a TechStars contest for a business he created during Startup Weekend
- How Dan launched a tech company at the age of 16 and grew it internationally
- How he uses the income stream generated by Elekteks to allow him to pursue other ventures
- His experiences using Elance, Odesk, Fiverr and virtual assistants
- Great advice for aspiring college entrepreneurs – Tons of takeaways from the interview
About Daniel Novaes
Dan founded his first company, Elekteks Inc., as a sophomore in high school suring 2005. The world of startups, business, creativity, and more was opened up to Dan through his experience starting Elekteks. Since then, he went to business school at Indiana University, started a few new companies, and never looked back. As an entrepreneur, Dan’s strengths lie in marketing new companies and managing the right people for the jobs needed. He is ambitious, driven, and will do anything in his power to take a venture to the next level.
What Inspires Dan: He believes in the power of social entrepreneurship, which provides the less fortunate with a chance in becoming self-sufficient. Great Examples: Toms Shoes and Warby Parker eye glasses. Dan truly values each and every relationship he makes and believes there is something to be learned from each new connection.
Links to Connect with Daniel:
Feel free to connect with Dan, ask him some questions, or simply say “hey, great job on SIU TV.”
Show Some Love for Start It Up TV
Start It Up TV is still growing into what it needs to be. We are trying our best to make this site as awesome and legitimate for our viewers as possible. If you have any ideas on how to make this site better, want to do business with Start It Up TV, or would like to be interviewed for one of the episodes, please feel free to use our Contact Form or E-mail Matt@startitup.tv!
A big thank you to Alek Rost for the intro to Start It Up TV. Check him out at AlekRost.com
In a basic sense, affiliate marketing is simply using a website (or affiliate ad placements in a website) to drive traffic and sales to another website. For each sale conversion you generate for the merchant, you get a percentage of the revenues. Although affiliate marketing can be complex, as many campaigns require some serious management and marketing tactics, the potential for high level and passive income can happen.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money promoting products that you love and enjoy sharing with others. It is great for those of you who are still trying to think of a business idea and still want to go through the process of creating a sales page, make some extra cash (passive to an extent), learn about SEO, PPC, and blogging. Going through with an affiliate marketing campaign can set you up with a lot of knowledge on how to start your own business – and even your own affiliate marketing program.
However, it is important to note that should you decide to go the affiliate marketing route, make sure you focus on products YOU are interested in and are knowledgeable about. Do not simply go for products who are rated the highest or have the highest commissions. Finding products that are similar to your niche and industry are key.
If you want to get into affiliate marketing, check out Click Bank. Click Bank “is a secure online retail outlet for more than 50,000 digital products and 100,000 active affiliate marketers.” You can sign up now and get started with your affiliate marketing campaign today. You can browse different products by category that suits your interest.
If you are an expert in a field, are passionate about a specific topic, or know enough about a subject that can help people that know nothing about the subject, creating your own information based products such as ebooks, membership sites, and audio books can be a great way to generate passive income. What is great about information products is you put in the time and work to create the product once, and you can sit back and collect sales revenues even in your sleep. Granted, it is never as easy as it sounds and information products do in fact take a lot of time and energy to create. But once you do the work, you can focus on optimizing your site, generating leads, and collecting contact information for newsletters and email marketing.
It’s a pretty fascinating subject that I am trying to learn more about myself. Check back on this page within the next coming months. We want to do a couple of videos explaining Affiliate Marketing in more detail.
What do you guys want to know about affiliate marketing? Have any of you had great success stories with it? Share and comment!
Short answer: ask so many questions it hurts your mouth. Asking questions, the right questions to the right people, can help you think about your business idea in a fresh, new way. If you want to get some really cool insights regarding your idea, ask someone who would be considered the ideal user of your product or service. It is easy to become overwhelmed at first with your idea and talking with someone you trust about their thoughts on it can help you not only clear your mind, but it can also spark a great brainstorming session. I experienced this last week.
The other day, a friend of mine that I’ve known since freshman year of college emailed me asking if I would meet with him that week to go over an Internet business idea that came to him a couple days earlier. Basically, the idea is a website that would revolutionize how you accomplish goals you set. He was really excited about it – I mean really excited. The day before I met up with him, he was up all night (literally, it was light out when he finally went to sleep) working on a mock version of his idea.
He sent me a link to the minisite he created and I viewed it before we met up at the University of Delaware. It was awesome. I loved it. I immediately had ideas as to how I would want to use the site. I knew what kind of features I would want the backend of the site to have. I had a vision of how it would look, taste and feel (figuratively speaking) – and that is because I was someone who would use his site every day if it existed. I was the ideal user of his website.
So we met up and talked for about two hours. My friend started out explaining to me what his vision was and how he wanted the site to function. He told me that the idea came to him because it solved a problem for him personally and that he couldn’t wait to get it up and running.
Next came the questions…tons of them. For the remaining hour and a half he asked me questions that started out with “how” or “what” and “why.” These types of questions lead to great conversations. We even came up with a strategy on how to best bring the website to market and when. By the end of the session, his brilliant idea morphed into something much bigger – something extremely social and collaborative that would solve this unique problem for thousands of people. All he did was ask me the right questions, such as “what would you want the site to actually offer” or “how would you want the information to be displayed.”
The point here is that it can be extremely valuable for you to ask questions to someone who would use your product or service as you are trying to solidify your college business idea. It is free, invaluable, and you gain a better understanding of what would make your business idea even better. It could not be easier to find the right people to talk to while you’re in college. You are surrounded by people who are creative, energetic and available – tap into that.
If you want to reach out to me regarding your business idea and have a brainstorming session, please feel free to! Use the contact form or email me at Matt@startitup.tv. I would love nothing more than to help you map out your idea and see you succeed! Good luck!
What other brainstorming techniques do you find useful? How do you take an idea and make it into something bigger, or more powerful? Leave some comments!
It can be really difficult coming up with that million-dollar idea. Believe me, I’ve been trying for five years now and am still actively waiting for the Ah-Ha moment. But what if the “big idea” wasn’t what you needed – at least initially.
Jim Collins, author of From Good To Great, suggests that the “who” part of your business is much more important than the “what” part of your business. Think about it, you can come up with that million-dollar idea right now. But then what? Are you actually able to follow through with the idea and execute it fully?
What if instead you dedicate some time to identifying a team of extremely talented and motivated individuals (or even just one other person) ready to create something of value? Even if your idea wasn’t the next Facebook, your chances of success with your idea will be much higher now that you satisfied that “who” part of your business. Instead of using all of your time trying to come up with your business idea, try to surround yourself with people that can help you make ideas come to life. Make sure these people are dependable and share similar values as you do. If you find people who are experts at what they do but you know your personalities clash, move on and find another person to add to your team. You must surround yourself with people who can bring out your best, not people who bring out your worst.
Here is how it works: College campuses are great environments for finding the people you need to help get things done. There are professors. There are students. There are professionals. Whether you are looking for web-developers, a business partner, or a mentor, there are people at your school that you can add to your network immediately to help you move forward. You need to satisfy that “who” part of your business – the “what” part will come. And when it does, you’ll be ready to really go for it.
For me, I started out by joining the Entrepreneurship Club at UD – click the link if you want to get a general idea of how you can benefit from similar clubs and organizations. By simply reaching out to this student organization, I almost immediately added to my network 20-25 students interested in what I was interested in: starting a business. An Entrepreneurial Studies professor was the advisor for the club – he later became an extremely valuable resource for me during my junior and senior years at UD. I met a student entrepreneur who I later became business partners with. Together, we pushed each other to learn as much as we could about entrepreneurship and would bounce ideas off of one another daily. These people were the building blocks of my entrepreneurial journey and everything I know about business can be traced back to them.
By surrounding yourself with people who have similar goals as you do, you begin to realize the true extent of your potential. It becomes easier to come up with creative ideas because you are hanging out with other students who are coming up with creative ideas. You begin to see other perspectives and understand how to attack problems. You can’t do everything on your own – and you shouldn’t. Go out there and connect with people who can help make ideas come to fruition. Then come up with an idea and make it happen.