For the Next Billion-Dollar Idea, Think about Workflow Management

I’ve seen founder friends build massive companies that started with a simple goal: to improve workflow. They took a manual process and developed software that made it simpler, more visible, and more conducive to collaboration. This great startup approach for nontechnical founders can be the secret sauce that propels a company to success.

Today I met with a founder who’s pursuing an idea about improving a very specific and highly technical process involving lots of parties (internal and external to the company). The costs of errors to many stakeholders are high. He’s spent over a decade learning the space and has deep relationships (his unfair advantage). He has a unique insight that differentiates his solution from that of competitors. And he’s built an early version of his product to test with customers. This founder is well positioned to build a large software company by making a specific process easier for his target customers.

I’m not an idea person, nor are many other founders. Fortunately, you don’t have to be brimming with creative ideas to be a successful founder. Aspiring founders can easily find ideas that could lead to terrific companies by looking around for inefficient processes that take tons of time or cost lots of money to execute. The more painful the better! The next time someone is complaining about something that annoys them about their job, listen. It could be the seed you need to grow the next billion-dollar workflow management company.