Sometimes, entrepreneurs get “lucky.” They wake up from a nap with a product vision, enlist help from friends, create a prototype, snag the interest of angel investors, and rewrite history as unicorns. Other times, they embarrass themselves by trying to market something unwanted that the market simply doesn’t want.
That’s the issue with innovation: Nothing is guaranteed. Still, if you’re a tech-driven dreamer, you may be able to hit paydirt by focusing on today’s biggest niche opportunities. Niches tend to come about based on evolving need, and consumers have plenty. Your goal is to spot an unsolved, maybe unspoken dilemma and bridge the gap between a problem and solution.
Need a little inspiration to get started on your next big thing? The following niche markets are practically begging for tech-enabled products and services.
1. Safer parenting
Moms and dads always worry about their school-age kids. Knowing that parents are looking for ways to make the world safer for their kids, you can start to investigate spaces where tech can offer assistance. For example, a tech company recently came out with a phone for kids. Unlike other cell phones geared toward the younger set, it’s sleek enough to appeal to children and preteens, and secure enough to keep them offline. In fact, the phone is more of a communications tool than anything else because it doesn’t allow access to social media or the Internet.
You don’t have to be a parent to address this niche. Gather friends who are mothers and fathers. Learn what keeps them up at night. Then, use your imagination to give them peace of mind through a technological solution.
2. Virtual communications
When March 2020 rolled around and COVID-19 forced millions of people to telecommute, Zoom suddenly became a household word. The company had already been doing well, but the pandemic turned “Zooming” into a thing.
Quickly, Zoom’s disadvantages were discovered. Zoom private meetings were hacked thanks to early, lackluster design features. People complained about not being able to turn chats on and off at will. Users complained about the poor video quality. In other words, even with its incredible revenue, Zoom isn’t perfect. And that’s where your company could step in.
Whether you decide to take on teleconferencing or something else in the online communications industry, know that it’s ripe for disruption. Even when the pandemic passes, more people than ever will work from home and seek out new, better ways to stay tethered to colleagues.
3. Online education
Another niche that’s come out of the coronavirus has been online education. From elementary schools and colleges to dance studios and tutoring programs, education has been driven from the classroom to the Internet.
Is the market too saturated for a tech startup to change everything? Not at all. Already, teachers are craving ways to make virtual education work for them. After all, not every subject is easy to teach on Google Hangouts. STEM curriculum differs dramatically from humanities-leaning coursework. No one platform has quite perfected all the tools needed to fill the gap created by distance learning.
You may want to speak with professional instructors, administrators, and students to get ready to tackle this beast. Be sure to investigate the hottest e-learning portals like Moodle and Canvas. Generate a list of their pros and cons, and see where they’re missing the mark—because that’s the target you need to aim for.
This niche is so ripe for disruption that if it were an apple, you’d want to eat it immediately. Every business is worried about cyber security for its clients. At the same time, every individual is worried about cyber security for personal reasons. In fact, cyber security is a huge threat to living comfortably and securely for everyone and every entity.
Cyber criminals continue to worm their ways into so-called “secure,” encrypted databases. In the last few years, companies including eBay and Equifax have fallen prey to major cyber attacks.
As more of our lives happen in cyberspace, we’ll keep needing smarter and more sophisticated methods to keep our information from getting in the wrong hands. That’s where you as an entrepreneur come into the picture. Your challenge is to come up with a program, software, patch, app, or similar tech invention that remains a step ahead of cyber thieves. Seal up an exposed opening, and you could end up scaling quickly.
5. Environmental stewardship
The final niche in need of some tech innovation is the field of environmental causes.
Nearly half of all Millennials and around two-thirds of Generation Z worry about climate change. Yet, that’s hardly the only environmental concern on their plates. They’re eagerly searching for ways to be better stewards of the planet, so turn your brainstorming to tech solutions.
Could innovative tech startups produce a better alternative to bottled water? Or make skincare products friendlier? Is there a tech product that could somehow make alternative energy sources more accessible? These may be big questions to ponder, but that doesn’t mean your invention has to be enormous to be important.
Not every tech innovation has to come from your muse or fall into your lap without a little hard work. Snoop around the niches most in need of something new and different. You might just uncover your key to changing the world and making your company a household name.
Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.
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