how do i come up with a software product idea

How Do I Come Up With a Software Product Idea?

How do you come up with a software product idea?

From listening to unhappy employees to personalizing to your customers comfort level, here are the 9 answers to the question, “How did you come up with your software product idea?”

  • Listen to Unhappy Employees
  • Scrape the Mac App Store and Found a Product Idea
  • Follow Your Frustration
  • Have the Determination to Improve
  • Create Something You Can’t Live Without
  • Don’t Settle for Things With Missing Functionality
  • Solve Problems You Have First-hand Experience With
  • Help Your Partner
  • Personalize to Your Customers’ Comfort Level

Listen to Unhappy Employees

Scott Johnson was the CEO of a company and eventually became a board member. Eventually, employees approached him saying things like, “I don’t feel like I matter here” or “I just feel like a cog in a machine now.”

Scott was disappointed because the company had done so much to be an amazing place to work. Those comments helped Scott realize that employees wanted more than “perks” so he created a product to make it possible—a platform that makes sure people are appreciated for their day-to-day efforts. Seeing that his team wanted to be recognized led to Motivosity!

Logan Mallory , Vice President of Marketing, Motivosity

how did motivosity get its start

Scrape the Mac App Store and Found a Product Idea

After having suffered several failures with different apps and websites, I had a more analytical approach to choosing my ideas. Having spent a lot of time on products that seemed innovative to me but confusing to others, I knew I wanted to find a product idea with a product-market fit and went about finding that idea by analyzing the Mac App Store. I created a scraper that would grab all the apps in the Mac App Store, their download numbers, reviews, and estimated revenue. I then created a chart with all the apps and gave them a score based on the attributes above.

If an app had many downloads but got critical reviews, it meant that if I created a better version of the app, people would probably use that instead. If it ‌ had a high revenue estimate, then money could be made on it.

Holger Sindbaek , Founder & CEO, Solitaire Online

Holger Sindbaek solitaire online

Follow Your Frustration

I had been working in Change Management for many years and was fortunate enough to lead large, global enterprises through change. While these experiences were exciting and challenging, I was tired of managing change by spreadsheets and disparate systems, manually aggregating data trying to find quantifiable trends, and doing this on a project-by-project basis.

I knew there could be a better way. More specifically, I believed change practitioners like myself would benefit from utilizing a change management platform designed specifically for change professionals, bringing them real-time data elements of change, which ‌ helps to guide efforts around the art side of change.

To accomplish this holistically, I designed ChangeSync as a cloud-based software allowing for project-by-project management and reporting and also providing detailed insight into all change projects across an enterprise. Change is hard, but having a software platform to assist has been a game-changer.

Kate DeGon , Founder & CEO, ChangeSync

Have the Determination to Improve

I was sitting in my office, working on a new software project, when I had an epiphany. The current project I’m working on could be better if it had one more feature.

I didn’t know how to build that feature into the existing code, but I knew it would be a valuable addition. And so, armed with nothing but a basic concept, I started work on what would become my new software product.It was a lot of work, and there were many times when I felt like giving up. But I persevered, and eventually, the product was finished. It’s been successful beyond my wildest dreams, and I’m grateful every day that I had the idea and the determination to see it through.

Ludovic Chung-Sao , Lead Engineer & Founder, Zen Soundproof

Create Something You Can’t Live Without

For software product ideas, the best ones often come from a place of personal necessity. In other words, they solve a problem that you, yourself, have faced and found no suitable solution for.This was certainly the case for me when I came up with the idea of the online alarm clock I developed. I was a heavy sleeper and found that my traditional alarm clock just wasn’t doing the trick.

I tried using my phone, but it was always too easy to silence the alarm and go back to sleep. I needed something that would make it physically impossible for me to ignore my alarm, and so the idea for my product was born.If you’re struggling to come up with a software product idea, ask yourself what problem you would like.

Burak Özdemir , Founder, Online Alarm Kur

Don’t Settle for Things With Missing Functionality

As someone who has a YouTube channel and is constantly producing new content, I was using a product to help me with split A/B testing of YouTube thumbnails.

Although the product worked, it was missing some features and functionality and so I made a better product and service and started a business. This is how I came up with our software and built a business around it.

Scott Krager , Founder,

Solve Problems You Have First-hand Experience With

We had first-hand experience with the difficulty of growing a company and scaling it to global markets. Credit was scarce and expensive. Launching in different countries just added to the complexity—we were working with multiple vendors locally and across borders, which made payments and reconciling expenses a real hassle. So we created a solution that addressed the problems we knew all too well. Today, we’re building on that initial idea by listening to and understanding the problems of our current customers—our product and software develop based on their needs.

Michelle Maiellaro , Content Marketing Editor, Jeeves

Help Your Partner

My horse-loving wife used to record her horse information in a vast array of notebooks, but they get lost, misfiled, or simply degrade. Whiteboards get wiped off and our memories are not as good as they used to be.In frustration, my wife asked me to code something so she could record horse information at the stable when things were actually happening. So, being a Software Engineer and a Strapper that actually listens—I coded HorseRecords!Several states in Australia use my program to help manage Retired Racehorses as part of their equine welfare obligations. Solving that one problem has led to a career in managing, maintaining, and improving horse husbandry software for everyone.

Andy Ide , Founder & Director, HorseRecords

Personalize to Your Customers’ Comfort Level

I came up with the idea for a smart mattress to leverage our most patented GhostBed 3D matrix mattress.I was one of the first bed-in-a-box solution providers, and what really struck me was our customers’ need for a good way to auto-adjust a mattress. Because when you walk into a mattress store, you have like 15 different mattresses to try out and each one has different firmness levels, so it’s hard to find that perfect match for two couples with different sleep comfort needs. That is how we launched our solution for the market that comes with a downloadable app to track your deep sleep.

Marc Werner , CEO & Founder, GhostBed

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