Day 8. Addition: finding ideas with the help of AI N22

Oct 10, 2023
13 minutes to read

What have we already done?

  1. We have identified our “unfair advantages” and competencies. The best idea is one that you can personally implement and become number one in a very niche market. Example: I have a database of 100,000 email subscribers, experience in EdTech projects, and knowledge of English and Chinese.
  2. We have found fairly large and successful analog startups in any niche in the world within the scope of your unfair advantages. Example: VipKid – teaching Chinese children English.
  3. If all the conditions are met, we take and copy. (If all conditions are met: the team, resources, timing, opportunities, desire, etc.), and that’s where your search ends.


3.2. If the conditions are not met, continue the search from a different angle, starting with “communities.” You will need to install the ChatGPT add-on in Google Sheets.

AI Tool: ChatGPT – How to Use it for Community-Based Search

As an example, we took the need for Chinese students to receive higher education. Chinese students go to Russian universities because there are few budget places in China. Russian education is of good quality and affordable. There are many Chinese students, and they have a strong desire to study abroad. Higher education is a social lift for them. Russia has historically been seen as closer and cheaper compared to alternatives, but it is also more challenging to get into. We have outlined the costs involved.

Google Sheets Link for this Practice: Google Sheets Link


It will be more cost-effective for you to organize the collected data in Google Sheets using the ChatGPT AI tool. In Google Sheets, use the ChatGPT formula to generate various business ideas based on each cost structure.

In this chapter, the practice of working with the ChatGPT language model is described. It has offered many new business ideas based on cost structures.

You will need the GPT for Sheets and Docs extension. If you open this extension in a Google document, a working panel will appear on the right side.

Extension and Examples of GPT for Google Sheets Link: Google Sheets Extension Link

You will need to obtain an API key: Link to Obtain API Key

We will create a formula that generates various business ideas based on the cost structure. In Google Sheets, we enter the gpt function and give it a task:

“Act as an international education consultant for Chinese students. Formulate the answer briefly with facts, figures, and examples. Use what they spend money on as the basis.”

The first line will contain a business idea based on visas, the second line will contain a business idea based on airline tickets, and so on.

ChatGPT in Google Docs will then generate business ideas for me based on the cost structure. If necessary, you can use Translate in the adjacent column.

This way, you can generate a million business ideas, slogans, and personalized messages. It’s a very convenient tool in Google Sheets.


Hypotheses Based on Communities and Bestsellers – Continuing the Search from “Communities”

What will we do today? We will continue to search for strong business ideas using ChatGPT and explore various hypotheses based on communities and bestsellers.


What is the “community-based approach”?

  1. It is aimed at a specific audience. You understand how to “reach” this audience.
  2. It is focused on a real market that exists (spending money).
  3. You have found a community or joined one (form, Telegram group, WhatsApp chat, community of business people with common interests). In this community, there should be an audience with whom you enjoy communicating. The audience’s interests should also align with the market that interests you. For example, if you are a university lecturer, you know English and Chinese, you can find a community of Chinese students who come to study English in your country for quality education.

By joining this community, you can learn about all the problems that students face. What they spend time and money on annually. For example, to enter your country, a student needs to get a visa, pay for consultation with an expert in the relevant field, pay for tuition at the university, pay for accommodation, and so on.

4. In this community, you can find bestsellers in each category (the best consultant, visa agency, airlines where students buy tickets, excursion programs they attend, etc.).

  1. By studying all the issues, you can find the “pain points” and offer them your solution or alternative options (better).


What is the advantage of this approach?

You understand your target audience, which has already gathered in this community. You know exactly where your target audience is already spending money, rather than speculating about it. Offer your target audience a solution that is better than what they are currently getting (cheaper, more interesting, easier, etc.).

Benefits of this approach:

  1. Ready-made target audience as your unfair advantage.
  2. You know the top ratings of what they spend money on.
  3. You know the leaders of competitors in each cost category.
  4. You need to offer “something” (like your product) based on certain parameters (cheaper, faster, cooler) better than what they have.


How to find communities?

Rely on what interests you. On questions you are knowledgeable about. On your “unfair advantages.” For example, if I’m in business and I’m a man, I’m not interested in joining a community for young moms. But I’m interested in joining a fishing community (my hobby) and a community of people learning the Chinese language (I’m learning Chinese).

A good starting point is communities that are gaining popularity (search on Reddit) or those that are already popular – there you will find more competitors. Explore communities that emerge based on bulletin boards.

Examples of communities where you can find:



Find and Join an Interest-Based Community and Start Communicating with Users.


Or Unbundling on Craigslist

Hypothesis: Buying and Selling Established Businesses → Flippa, Microaquire

Define Jobs To Be Done (JTBD)

If people regularly use a bulletin board or community, it means the community performs some important task or job for them. These tasks or jobs are conveniently formulated using the JTBD (Jobs to Be Done) method: In situation X, a person does Y to get Z.

What is the main, regular task(s) that community participants solve?

Those very Jobs (tasks). For example, they regularly search for new feature ideas for their products, read various trends, project reviews in their field, interact with customers, etc.

For what purpose? Why do community members perform this task regularly?

For example, to grow an existing product and stay ahead of competitors.

In what situations or context does this task arise?

For example, when revenue starts to decline, a business owner urgently searches for ideas to improve the situation.

How do they currently solve this task? What is the best current method?

This is a crucial validation question. If the answer is “none” (no one spends time or money on it), then there is no task, and you are mistaken. If the answer is something like, “We tried X, Y, Z, and Y worked best,” it’s a good sign that the task indeed exists. Perhaps the current best method, Y, is what your future main competitor is using.

What queries do they enter into Google when solving this task?

  1. This helps assess how many such queries there are and possibly set up contextual advertising for these queries.
  2. What are the Top 10 queries in the community?


There are several ways to do this:

  1. In Reddit (and Quora, for example), you can filter the most popular posts, questions, and answers.
  2. You can find relevant queries using services like or
  3. An excellent service that helps understand what people are searching for related to a particular topic:


Assignment: You’ve identified the JTBD in popular communities. Under your unfair advantages. What’s next?

Ask users a few questions (or look for answers in community posts) to study your target audience:

  • Why did they join this community?
  • What do they spend money and time on (in the context of the community)?
  • What queries do they enter in search engines?
  • Study the community feed and compile your “Top 10” popular questions (“Where to buy a baby stroller? Where to go fishing today? Where to buy car parts?”). This information is valuable because it represents a clear market and a clear target audience. You will understand if your product can replace or complement the “bestselling” products. Perhaps you can create a new category.

Our Example: How We Collected Data for Idea Generation.

Google Sheets Link


The best idea is the one you can personally implement. Based on your unfair advantages. And becoming #1 in a very narrow niche.

Example: I have a database of 100,000 email subscribers, experience in EdTech projects, knowledge of English and Chinese, and I teach at MGU (Moscow State University).

You chose a community based on your advantages.

Example: Chinese students who come to your country to obtain quality education.

You joined WeChat groups on the topic of “assistance in admission.”

You determined the cost structure of community members:

  • Visa – $500
  • Agent’s assistance – $300
  • Tuition fees – $10,000

You found bestsellers in each “cost category.”

Can we be better than the bestseller or complement it?


You filled in answers to the first 5 questions about the bestseller:

  1. What is the main need addressed by this category? For example, I buy coffee to wake up (the need is “to wake up”). This same need can be addressed by 10-20 other products, such as energy drinks or simply stretching exercises while driving.
  2. Are there products that can replace the current bestseller (direct competition)? In the example of coffee, energy drinks could do that.
  3. Are there products that can be additional products to the current bestseller (allies, partners)? Those that can be sold together. For example, when buying a car, you are offered insurance.
  4. Are there products that can create new categories or change old ones? For example, electric cars change the fuel and spare parts category. Subscription cars change the insurance and repair category.
  5. Which projects in this category are growing or recently received investments? Here we look for candidates to either a) replace the bestseller, b) create a new category, or c) become an additional product to the bestseller.


  1. Determine the cost structure for your target audience (TA) from your community. Write down the bestsellers and a few ideas you obtained manually and with the help of ChatGPT. Copy the Google Spreadsheet.
  2. Formulate the main hypothesis that you’ve developed based on today’s results.

Here’s the formulation: “I believe I can earn [expected revenue, $ per year] in an accessible and understandable niche: [customer segment] who have [need #1] and spend more than [$] per year on [bestseller in the cost structure].”

Please share the prompts you used for the GPT function. My request is as follows:

=GPT("Act as an international education consultant. A million Chinese students want to come to the UK to get their degree. Come up with a business idea on how to make money from it. Formulate your answer briefly, no more than 200 characters with figures, facts and be sure to link it to a successful business example, given that they are spending money on:";B2)


  1. Based on your “unfair advantages” (any one of them) and interests, join a community.
  2. Determine (or estimate) the main cost categories for the participants in this community.
  3. Find best-selling products for each of the cost categories in this community.
  4. Use the GPT extension for Google Sheets to generate additional product ideas for each of the cost categories of the chosen community.

Finding How to Win. Copying from Leaders in Other Niches Based on the Best Parameters That Interest Us.

Fill in the table column by column. These parameters affect the metrics of your business model. You can learn about unit economics here.


Let’s take the case of an English language school. Google Sheets Link

  1. Explore the list of parameters.
  2. Seek assistance from ChatGPT.
  3. Filter its results through your own supervision.

Ask, “Find me the best project in the world for this parameter.”

From which leaders in other niches can we learn how they became the best based on the parameters that interest us?

Google Sheets Link 


  1. Take one bestseller for one main audience in the chosen community and describe the selection criteria.
  2. Find several examples of how to make a product that would be better than the bestseller by 3-10 times (through technology or another business model) in an important parameter for the TA.
  3. Share the most interesting results in your business environment.
  4. Comment on at least 2 responses from other participants.


Congratulations! You’ve completed the entire course. Perhaps some chapters were unclear to you, and Chat GPT can answer your questions faster than independent Google searches. Give it a try, engage with other entrepreneurs, and it’s only a matter of time before you succeed.


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