Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea Technologies and a mobile strategy advisor. He can be contacted via Twitter @rahulvarshneya.



If you’re looking for a startup idea, most entrepreneurs will advise you to look at problems – ones that you can solve creatively and most effectively. A problem so pressing that people would give an arm and a leg to use your solution.

While for some it seems rather easy to realize what a problem is – and most often it’s one of their own – for a larger set, getting to a problem worth solving itself is the problem.

So what do you need to get started then? I say… inspiration!

This can set your creative juices flowing, just as it did for some of the most popular and successful companies that exist today. Because it’s not always about a completely unique idea, but about how you can create a product that reduces the steps for people to perform their tasks or makes their life simpler.

This means, you can take an existing product and make it a fantastic experience for people to use (and that’s perfectly legible!) Facebook and Google are great examples of this.

So let’s take a look at what places you should be checking out day in and day out, looking for inspiration that can light a spark to start building your product idea. Take this only as a spark and let it take over your imagination. Do you research and homework and figure out what would appeal to your target audience and why.

AngelList

Everyday, AngelList gets many submissions to its platform from startups looking for funding or employees. Sometimes it’s just for visibility and recognition.

Use the startup search function and set filters to get startups from your areas of interest. After you’ve gone through what’s already in the database, set alerts to be notified by email when new startups join this platform that match your filtered search.

ProductHunt

The ProductHunt platform relies on crowdsourcing new and emerging products across categories. Though, largely you’d find technology-based startups, it still is a fantastic platform to see what people feel about the products that are submitted.

Check for products that receive the maximum up-votes and comments, but don’t be limited by just the most popular on this platform; this does not mean absolute validation as the entire community that votes on ProductHunt may not necessarily be the target audience for that particular product.

Hacker News

While Hacker News is a great place for startups to showcase their products (popularly known as Show HN), it can also become your go-to platform for digging up on some great conversations that happen on submitted products.

The conversations could potentially give you insights into what people are asking for or raising questions on a given product. These insights can then be cultivated further and validated to launch your own startup.

It can get tedious searching for Show HN products though, so I’d recommend using Showing HN, which is an aggregator of Show HN posts, updated every couple of minutes.

Reddit Startups

Similar to Show HN, Reddit Startups supports the community of entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs and fosters ‘unbiased and anonymous feedback, ideas and discussions.’

A great place once again to look for sparks and conversations where you can jump into a conversation on a particular product idea that appeals to you to validate your ideas by asking questions to the community that is already engaged on that product concept.

Where are your favorite places to find sources of inspiration? Don’t worry – we won’t steal your ideas.