Business owners and new entrepreneurs are always interested in learning how successful entrepreneurs have come up with their ideas. There are many different ways to come up with great ideas: some develop a product or service that they wish they had for themselves while others look for gaps in a market that they know well. What Martin Varsavsky, an Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur and investor, focused on for Fon was innovating on the way we use a service that is already in the market.
Fon is a shared WiFi network. There are different levels of membership; essentially some members agree to share part of their bandwidth as a WiFi signal and enable others to connect to their hotspots for a fee. Those who provide WiFi hotspots earn revenue from those who connect to their hotspots. Founded in 2006, Fon has raised over $70M in funding and has over 12M hotspots around the world.
When I reached out to Martin, his office replied:
Martin came up with the idea for Fon while on vacation in Paris. He kept looking for WiFi to avoid the roaming charges but all he found were locked networks. That’s when he thought: “We don’t need a whole new WiFi network, we just need to unlock the ones we have!” This is how the WiFi sharing model of Fon came about.
Can you think of services and products that are already in the market can be improved?