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How to find business ideas (a data-oriented approach)

How to find business ideas (a data-oriented approach)

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Below is a guest post from Ignacio Arriaga, Computer Science Engineer, and SaaS enthusiast. Acumbamail co-founder, a bootstrapped email marketing SaaS which is making millions in ARR. He also writes a newsletter (in Spanish) called Disaaster. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Note: You can read here how Acumbamail reached $1M in ARR.

How to find business ideas (a data-oriented approach)

One of the most common difficulties faced by entrepreneurs is how to come up with a great business idea. The classic approach is to solve your own problems, but it doesn’t fit all that well. That’s why I wanted to test a different way. 

I believe that lots of potentially successful business ideas consist in improving / automating / optimizing an existing manual process. So I dug into one of the biggest freelance marketplaces, Fiverr, determined to discover trending tasks that could be improved or even replaced with software. 

I have gathered the data of 600 categories and analysed more than 250k gigs to find which provide the biggest opportunities to start a business. 

The categories

Fiverr is organised in a hierarchical way, with a small number of main categories that contain some other nested categories. The main ones are:


Fiverr is dominated by Graphics & Design because at the beginning it was a platform for freelance designers, but we can see that other categories have also a considerable volume.

So let’s start with some analysis of the subcategories.

Most crowded verticals

We can establish that a vertical is over-exploited if it is very crowded. But having a lot of supply could also be a sign of high demand and of a major TAM –Total Available Market–.

Graphics and Design


Surely designing cartoons is something that is more difficult to completely automate, but with AI producing better results every day, seems like there’s an opportunity to start something to offer flyer design or social media images.

Related case study: This logo maker became a $12M/year business and reached 29M users

Marketing Online


Logically, we can see a correlation between the most populated categories with those that already have more solutions available in the market, such as Social Media, SEO, or E-Commerce.

There are also more emerging categories such as Video Marketing or Music Promotion that caught my eye.

With most music consumption moving to streaming services, it appears that there’s an opportunity to make money promoting artists on platforms like Spotify, Youtube, and Soundcloud.

Related case study: 90K artists already use this tool to distribute their music online.

On the other hand, with Amazon, Aliexpress, and almost all online store pushing video to showcase their products, it only makes sense to consider getting into e-commerce video marketing.

Related case study: Learn how to make $30K/month creating videos for e-commerce brands.

Programming and Tech


In the programming category, it is not surprising that the most in-demand service is web development, where there is already a lot of competition. There are also giant companies built around tech support.

However, file conversion and cryptocurrency-related topics aren’t so crowded and are rising fast.

Related case study: These founders built an online file converter to grow their business.

Most in-demand categories

There is no available demand data on Fiverr, but one needs to purchase a gig in order to leave a review. Therefore, I have analysed each category’s number of reviews with the goal of identifying the most popular ones.

If a category has a lot of people willing to pay for a freelancer to work, there will be a good opportunity for selling software. It is especially interesting to check which categories that we can find here do not belong to the list of the most crowded ones. This could mean that there is a high demand and a low supply, making them an interesting target.

Graphics and Design


Of course, some categories that appeared before show up here again, but it is interesting to see how there are some others that, even though they are widely offered, are not among the most demanded.

In addition, there are spaces that look promising as money-making opportunities, such as Book Design or Vector Tracing.

Related case study: See how this eBook-creating platform hit 200K users.

Digital Marketing


The only difference here is how Book & eBook Marketing emerges. Coincidentally, in the design category also appeared something related to ebooks.

Programming and Tech


Only 3 of the 5 results that appeared in the most crowded spaces are also here.

File conversion -a task that I think is easily automated- is the most demanded.

Also, notice how the two categories related to cryptocurrencies disappear. Perhaps the demand was much lower than the supply.

Verticals with the lowest customer satisfaction

I think that one of the best ways to find new customers is going where unsatisfied customers are. An unhappy customer is always willing to try other options. I have analysed each subcategory’s review average to spot those niches.

The findings are not very interesting because satisfaction on Fiverr is really high.

Graphics and Design


User satisfaction, which is rated from 0 to 5, is very high.

Unique categories such as car wraps or trade booth design appear for the first time,

Unique business ideas are great, you can make a lot of money with those.

Marketing Online


This category has the lowest ratings of all the categories analyzed.

SMS marketing, Crowdfunding, or Podcast Marketing, had not previously appeared. This reveals a great opportunity even though the demand may not be as high as in other spaces.

Related case study: This founder built a $420K/year business repurposing podcast content.

Programming and Tech


Satisfaction in this category is almost 5 in all verticals. It is very difficult to highlight an opportunity, perhaps it is interesting to see that there are quite innovative verticals such as development for streamers or chatbots. 

Related case study: This company generates $150K/month helping streamers make more money.

Top-priced verticals

Probably, one of the most interesting business KPIs is the revenue per user. I have used the median instead of the average to make a fair comparison. Fiverr is a really really cheap marketplace and we are comparing the entry point pricing for each category, so there is a lot of room for improvement in these prices.

Below you can find relevant categories like Building Information Modeling, Public Relations, or Cybersecurity.

Graphics and Design


Building Modeling appears well above the rest. It was also one of the categories with the lowest demand-supply ratio, so it is possible that there is an interesting niche there.

Branding style guides sounds like something worth exploring.

Related case study: This solo founder built a $1M/year business selling branding templates for social media.

Digital Marketing


Here we find a huge difference between PR and the rest. I've double-checked and it does not seem to be a deviation from the average, in Fiverr people charge a lot of money for these services. It is a category worth checking.

Related case study: This founder was able to grow his business to $20M/year by leveraging PR opportunities.

Programming and Tech


The average ticket is significantly higher vs. the other categories. 

Once again we find a very prominent category, Cybersecurity. It is obvious that this is a growing sector and that knowledge of cybersecurity is more difficult to acquire than in other disciplines. There are plenty of competitors but, as it is such a new sector and it is going to be so global, it seems a good opportunity. 

On the other hand, the categories related to cryptocurrencies show up quite high, although we already saw that they did not appear in those that indicated more demand.

Related case study: Learn how a niche cybersecurity app generates $100K/year.


There are some interesting results:

#1. eBooks-related categories such as creation, edition, and marketing appear in different categories and seem to be on the rise.

#2. Cybersecurity has a great supply/demand ratio and a really high price.

#3. The demand for PR services is very high, with a huge initial price and a good supply/demand ratio.

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Quick hitters

(1) This agency makes $17.5K/month helping e-commerce businesses with no-code tools. Automations are super popular right now. Because they can take lots of work off your plate. And no-code tools are perfect to achieve that.

If you can master something like Zapier, you can provide tons of value to a business (and charge $$$ for it). 

A great example is how this guy makes $5,5K/month as a Zapier specialist.

(2) This niche newsletter reached $2K/month. How niche? Well, they share pictures of people’s workspaces. Hard to get more niche than that. Also, if you’re not very keen on writing, this is a brilliant example of taking advantage of user-generated content.

We’ve seen time and time again, how people generate extra income with newsletters. And sometimes they even become full-time businesses.

Why are they so great? Many reasons but mainly (1) super cheap to start -actually, free- and (2) they can be about literally anything.

These are superb examples to find inspiration:


Thanks for reading!

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
Want to find more ideas that make money?

Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.

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David Bustos

Hey there! 👋 I'm David, and if you ever got an email from Starter Story, I probably wrote it. With a background in working with startups and writing, being part of this team is kind of a perfect fit for me.

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