Although there is a strong element of technology in many businesses that open each year, knowing how to perceive gaps in business services that can be served by technology is still one of the surest paths to success.
Here are some examples of how entrepreneurs went out and found markets that weren't being served- and then built businesses that fit the clientele:
CEO Steven Voudouris spent his youth running a startup business that discovered a set of products and services on the Internet that weren't being coordinated for people and then built a system that made it easy for consumers to get those items. Along the way, his passion for automobiles as a hobby caused him to spend time outside of work looking for ways to customize his American sports car.
Again Turn 5's Steven Voudouris recognized that the Internet options available to people that wanted aftermarket parts were not that good. So he put together a couple of companies that provide aftermarket and custom parts for sports and muscle cars. The net result is that he has another winner on his hands. Both companies that are part of the Turn 5 group are growing and making a profit.
Ten years ago, there was a strong push to create crowd-funded companies. The problem for many entrepreneurs was that the crowd-funding rules as they stood were not powerful enough to actually fund a company for more than a specific product's manufacture. You thus had people with 'winning products' getting pre-payment from fans so that they could ramp up production and build their company- but no other operating capital coming in.
That worked partially until the SEC changed the rules to allow direct investment for the companies that qualified. The new situation was better for entrepreneurs, but created a lot of paperwork requirements that companies found hard to meet.
Imaginot looked at what the need for capital differently. They felt that a company that needed capital and was deemed worthy by fans or investors should be able to sell licenses for the technology that it was using to create its products. They therefore created an initial license offering option that allows companies to get the capital that they need without having to go through the same regulations as a crowd-funded firm. From a standing start, they have now built a portfolio of 13 firms ready to sell licenses to fund their expansion.
Although Tesla now owns the Powerwall, it was developed by another one of Elon Musk's companies that realized that homes that are powered by solar do not have the capability of using a modular battery bank to store energy. The Powerwall product is one that covered a gap in services that had existed for a couple of decades. By selling a piece of hardware that has passed all local regulations, it makes it easy for contractors to show vacation cabin owners just how easy it is to be energy-renewable when they are off-grid.
If you are starting a firm or are looking at opportunities, leveraging technology and the gaps that it can create in products or services is one way that you can create a firm that will have built-in advantages from the start.