How do you discover growth opportunities?

If you intended to look for a change outside of your business to capitalize on and drive growth, how would you approach it?

Innovation has a way of rapidly defusing across the market. There’s a temporal arc from a high value opportunity to a solution that is standardized, commoditized, and filled with competitors.

If you were building websites in 2000, there was a sea of opportunity filled with big fish to catch. If you’re building websites in 2023, there’s a sea of competitors that you’ll have to navigate your boat through to find an empty spot.

There are external growth opportunities beyond innovation or trends, but something that all growth opportunities share is that they require risk taking.

Back in 2000, building websites was more of a risk than it is today. The market wasn’t established. Today if you want a website, you can pay a few bucks and set one up on Squarespace in the course of an afternoon. I’ve talked with people who were hosting websites on a computer in their office closet back in the early 2000’s. They had to buy hardware, connect it to the internet, and build a web server just to lay the foundation for publishing a website. And that’s just the technology- there were all sorts of unknowns and obstacles around labor, marketing, and the direction of the market.

To discover growth opportunities you have to have an emotional stance of exploration. You have to break from “the smart thing to do” and be willing to waste time and money on things that probably won’t work. Things that are unknown. Filled with possible obstacles. Where the future is uncertain.

Orient your compass towards the New World and away from the entrenched systems of the old one.

Featured image is Allegory of the New World: Amerigo Vespucci awakens the sleeping America. By Stradanus and used under public domain.