If you’ve ever been thinking about starting your own company and are interested in technology you probably follow Paul Graham. Today he posted his essay on how to get ideas for your start-up company and it’s a great read:
The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It's to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself. The very best startup ideas tend to have three things in common: they're something the founders themselves want, that they themselves can build, and that few others realize are worth doing. Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Google, and Facebook all began this way
I thought it was especially interesting that he pointed out Facebook and Microsoft both launched during Harvard’s reading period. It seems a long natural period of downtime is the perfect catalyst for getting some of these startups off the ground. No wonder Google lets employees use 20% of their time on their own projects.