Forbes has up a fantastic article about how to find a profitable business idea in minutes. They’ve sorted through hundreds of methods of idea extraction and come up two incredibly simple questions:

  1. What is the most important activity you do in your business?
  2. Do you have any pain associated with this activity?

Start with a family member or friend you know who owns a business, and ask them the questions above. If you don’t have close acquaintance to ask in person, pick any industry that seems to be hiring from a job board like Don’t stress much on which industry you pick at first – remember, it’s not about industry, it’s about building the skill of asking questions. It’s about building your idea extraction muscles.

Then, search for people in that industry on LinkedIn, and start messaging them directly. Ask them something like this:

“Hey, I’m just curious – what is the most important activity you do in your business, and do you have any pain associated with that activity? I’m looking to help make your industry easier, faster, more fun and more profitable. Based on your answer, we could possibly build a solution to help take some of the pain out of your business.”