Listen to Dane Maxwell call a prospect, and hear how he extracts a profitable business idea.

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 - 9:00 AM PST

Where do profitable business & product ideas come from?

You’ve heard me interview founders who said they got their ideas by calling up customers and uncovering their pain. Then they build businesses that solve that pain.

Do you want to hear how that’s done?

This is an actual call that Dane Maxwell made to show his students at The Foundation how to find ideas that will help them launch software companies.

(Do you prefer the MP3 version? It’s here)

  • Dane Maxwell

    Vlad, I’ve made a note on your application that you’ve asked here. You are welcome.

  • Dane Maxwell

    James this may be one of the best comments here for me to read. You are on point. I’ve made a note on your application my man.

  • Dane Maxwell

    Haha. Yeah, that was awkward for me, but I did it anyway.

  • Vlad Shelest

    That’s very cool Dane, thank you!

  • timothy_johnson

    This probably gets so close to the CORE of starting something new, and most people are trying to take where they are currently, and add a strategy or tactic to get them to the next level. With every person I have shared this with, if there is not a willingness to have a mind-shift, the illumination bulbs just don’t flip on.

    I’m not a person who regularly comes back to mixergy and comments, I usually enjoy the podcast from afar, and the membership courses. But this one was too world-shaking not to thank you.

  • Pamela Dale

    Hi Dane and Andrew,
    Thank you so much for sharing this information. I can’t stop thinking about this concept for business. I first heard about it a few weeks ago. I want/need to listen to this again….it is packed with tips.
    I have been looking for a great business idea since reading Tim Ferris’ book a few months ago to no avail.
    Sharing this kind of information so freely Dane is beyond generous, it is selfless.
    The phone and asking questions is not as difficult for me as it is for some…my need is to be a part of a champion group for support.
    I have applied as well to be a part of the Oct Foundation group. It would be a priviledge and a honor to be a part of it.
    I live in Canada…pools are not big business…lol
    Thank you,

  • John Willis

    I am deleting my 120-page business ideas document. None were inspired by a real pain point expressed by a customer with a willingness to pay.

    This is embarrassing. In my professional life, I have conducted lots of polling to help politicians identify top issues, then qualitative focus groups to explore policy solutions to those issues. Invariably, a politician’s own priorities don’t match the actual problems facing real-life voters. Most voters are attracted to small solutions that are simple and feasible, instead of ambitious ideologically-motivated policies that feeds the politician’s ego.

    As an entrepreneur, I fell into the same big-picture creativity trap into which I’ve watched politicians fall.

    The obvious is more concealed than the concealed. Instead of that huge ideas list, the answer to finding a marketable business was in front of me all along. Do what I’ve seen work – methodically talk to actual people.

    Dane, thanks for this remarkable insight. I hope my application to The Foundation is accepted!

  • Mark Charter

    Dane continues to be the man! His open and honest way of talking about his success so others can have it too, is rare. I am hoping I will be included in his next Foundation class as I know what he has to say is truly life changing!

  • Mitesh

    Dane, I’ve discovered a personal pain-point and I wish someone would invent a software program to solve that problem. Is it worth pursuing it? How do I find people I want to interview or talk to about this problem?

  • Steven Tran

    Thanks for the reply, I’ll definitely look into that site. I did send in my application, The Foundation seems like a great resource to prepare my mindset and psychology. I believe once I get help with this, all the technical aspects of the business and just getting it started by getting a paying customer will fall into place.

  • Dane Maxwell

    Dude. Awesome realization John!

  • Dane Maxwell

    Thank you Mark! I’ve added a note on your application.

  • Dane Maxwell

    Hi Pamela! Thank you for your kind words!

  • Tom Ireland

    Dane! Oh my god! I feel like I’m stalking you but that was BEAUTIFUL! I was smiling throughout. You just listened to the guys and he essentially came up with the idea. Amazing. I always thought that an idea had to come first and the pain in that thought process trying to work out what would sell is horrible. This has shifted my whole mindset in 24 hours. I tried this with a pal of mine as I had an idea (bad) but he essentially came up with it and he offloaded all his pain and 2 potential separate solutions spring to mind to combat his problem. Dude, you are amazing! Please don’t stop what you’re doing, man!

  • Alex Stern

    Thanks Andrew for continuing to feature Dane on Mixergy. He has definitely cemented his spot as part of the Mixergy Dream Team. Thank you Dane for another hugely valuable resource. Your Mixergy interviews get better each time. The startup world needs more people like you around. I’m sick of hearing about these “sexy” new startup ideas that don’t solve any real problems. Solving a pain in the B2B market is the way to go. After scouring Houston for an old school phonebook, I finally found one. I’m going to start building my prospect list now. I hope to get accepted into next month’s Foundation group. I’m confident I can contribute a lot to the group.

  • sarahcoronado

    Can’t wait! Seriously, this is amazing. Thanks Dane! And Andrew! Learning stuff like this plus other courses is worth so much more than what we’re paying as premium members.

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