Originally published by Mitchell York for About.com.
When you hear about entrepreneurs starting businesses, the back story is usually something like this: I was trying to get a mortgage and it was really annoying having to apply to all those banks, and I thought, the banks should be competing for my business. Or: I was wearing tight t-shirts on top of my jeans, but I’d lose weight so had to wear a belt underneath, which was bulky and ugly. So I invented an invisible belt. Very often, entrepreneurs have an ah-ha moment based on personal experience, and a company is born.
But you don’t have to be particularly passionate about something based on personal experience to start a sucessful business. Take Daniel Burrus, futurist, entrepreneur and author, who has started six companies. He launched Visionary Apps, because he saw that computing was moving fast toward mobililty and smartphones, and that there was no efficient way for real estate brokers and agents to reach real estate investors. These technology advancements are what he calls “hard trends” that are not cyclical, but permanent. So he created iPhone apps, based on a recurring revenue model, that leverage the permanent technological change and the coming opportunistic boom in vulture real estate investing.
Burrus’s new book, Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible (HarperBusiness), offers entrepreneurs a lesson in seeing around corners that lead to opportuntiies. His core principles include: