How to create the next consumer apps (3 frameworks)
with real world examples & ideas across different industries
Insights are builders’ best friends. They help you see opportunities, launch new products, and win the market before everyone else.
Today, I’ll break down 3 frameworks on how to easily spot consumer trends, act on new opportunities, and share ideas to spark your next consumer tech venture. I’ll also provide real-world examples across different industries.
This post a follow-up series from my readers’ 🔥TOP FAVORITE, check out:
1. Find new norms
Emerging norms often create new demand for new solutions in the market. You notice a small group of people doing things differently.
To understand what are new and emerging norms, you can first understand from the opposite, i.e. what everyone disagrees with — and then work backward.
Getting paid to exercise wasn’t a thing in the past. Now we have M2E (move-to-earn) crypto games like STEPN and Dustland Runner.
Turn your extra space into cash? Neighbor lets you earn passive income by renting out a portion of your space — car, garage, boat, attic, etc.
Getting paid to play online games? Gamers now make a living on play-to-earn blockchain games. Axie Infinity lets you own AXS tokens and trade them for money at exchange. My Defi Pet lets you own NFTs, trade and auction digital assets. DeFi Kingdoms rewards gamers with JEWEL tokens.
Example: Curation economy
Trend: People are now paying money to access good quality curated content. Getting paid to collect and organize information is a thing.
Who’s doing this? Flow State charges $49/year to get access to curated Spotify playlists. TheBrowser charges $48/year to access outstanding stories from the Internet.
New opportunity: Deciding what to read, listen, watch, and learn is becoming an outsourceable task. Let consumers “hire” your platform to help them perform these tasks.
Idea: Build a curator monetization tool. Like Airtable, but add built-in payment tools. Creative curators can build a collection of resources and monetize them directly without manually adding PayPal, Stripe or Gumroad.
Creator economy inspirations:
2. Add value
There are three levels of value you can add to your products:
Level 1: Doing. Users want to get things done. Provide features that give performance and productivity boost.
Level 2: Feeling. Users want to feel good. Provide features that remove stress, fear and anxiety.
Level 3: Being. Users want to express themselves. Provide features that raise their social status, personality, and self-expression.
E.g.: MUSE band: meditation & sleep (Doing) + calm and peaceful (Feeling) + high-performer (Being)
Example: Wearable health trackers
Trend: Wearable tech is going to the next level. Activity trackers are more than just measuring sleep, exercise, and heart rates. They are now interpreting and tracking neurological data (brain waves) and behavioral data (voice, speech, interaction).
Who’s doing this? Muse headband tracks real-time brainwaves and redirects your mind to a calmer state. Feel’s emotional sensor wristband can detect anxiety and depression–and then provide personalized advice, tools, exercises, and online therapy sessions. Mindstrong analyzes the way you use the smartphone and turns them into objective measures of brain function.
New opportunity: “Portable health labs” will become a new category. Let anyone own a health expert in their pockets.
Idea: Wearable that tracks your daily focus level, energy level, and brain performance throughout the day. Like Rise, but comes with a smart wearable device.
HealthTech startup inspiration:
3. Solve persisting problems
The next big thing in consumer apps isn’t always about creating new technologies. But to surface long-standing problems, come up with new solutions that are fitting seamlessly into today’s modern lifestyle.
Think banking is simplified? Many unbanked or underbanked populations like South East Asia, Latin America, and Africa still don’t have a savings account or rely on traditional paperwork and in-person banking services. Problem = Financial exclusion.
Example: Consumer fintech
Trend: Micro-investing is on the rise. Companies are making wealth creation more accessible to everyday consumers. People can buy fractional shares and own partial assets.
Who’s doing this? Fractional allows you to co-own real estate with friends and investing communities. Acorns lets you own fractional stocks and automatically diversify into ETFs. Buying partial stocks from SoFi starts from $5.
New opportunity: Make saving, spending, investing, managing and protecting money faster, safer and easier for consumers.
Idea: There are 106 millions people investing in cryptocurrency. Getting into crypto comes with technical risks and scams. Yet, crypto owners aren’t covered by insurance. There could be DeFi (decentralized) insurance platforms that insure crypto assets.
Fintech startup inspirations:
From your curious friend..
👋 I’m Zoe: builder, ever curious, built 11 MVPs, featured on Lifehacker, Product Hunt #1, and tech blogs in 7 countries. Also a Medium Top Writer & HackerNoon winner in VC topics. I unpack new insights on profitable markets for venture builders.