How 3 Successful Businesses Got Their Start

And, how you can, too.

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Evan Kimbrell

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Whether your dream is to start your first business or you're a seasoned entrepreneur looking for your next venture, most of us run into the same problem: Where do I start?

Figuring out how to grasp that elusive "great idea" can feel daunting, especially when you look at billion-dollar companies and the chasm that exists between you and them. Fortunately, Evan Kimbrell, founder of San Francisco-based digital agency Sprintkick, has not only put together an enormous list of different ways to brainstorm ideas, he has also broken down how those big businesses got their idea in the first place.

Related: Seth Godin on How to Freelance Your Way to Success

In his new course, How to come up with killer business ideas, the entrepreneur and former VC lays out brainstorming methods that can be used across all industries, and blends them with clear explanations, examples, and anecdotes, plus worksheets and activities for you to do as you go along.

Having a framework to look at the world in a new way and be inspired is crucial. For example, here's how three huge companies used a framework to spark their first idea:

1. Uber and "Wouldn't it be great if...?" If you've ever found yourself doing something in your daily life and daydreaming about how it could be improved, you've already started using this tool. Thinking about a process and imagining how it could be way more awesome is exactly how Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp sparked the idea for what would one day become the industry-disrupter it is today.

2. PayPal and Reverse Imagination. Sometimes we try to imagine the future when we want to come up with a new idea. But what if we reverse it? Kimbrell brings up how cringe-worthy some things that were popular in the 90's are now; the challenge is to time travel to the future and look back at what would seem silly now. The founders of PayPal "looked back" at how we were getting money to people and realized, it is so silly that we don't have a way to transfer money online.

3. TOMS and making it eco-friendly. Making things "suck less" for the earth, as Kimbrell puts it, is a hot button issue. If you can take a product and make it waste less resources, that's an innovation in itself.

TOMS is a great example of this, in two ways. First, they took a product and made it eco-friendly. But what makes them stick out in consumers' minds, and tips the scales for a lot of shoppers, is that they combine that with donating a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair they sell.

Related: How to Build Your Personal Brand, According to Millionaire Gary Vaynerchuk

Now, Get Busy

The most important thing you will learn from this course is how to think about your world as being full of opportunities. Sometimes big ideas need a little help. Use this course to help your next idea achieve its dreams.

Here's a special enrollment link where you can learn all about it - Enroll Now!

Disclosure: This is brought to you by the Entrepreneur Partner Studio. Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you'll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

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