TT #001: So You Have An Online Business Idea

Phillip Hughes
4 min readApr 28, 2022


Before I go into this week’s topic about your online business idea. I wanted to give you why I’ve started this weekly newsletter.

If you’ve had an email from me before. Or listened to my podcast, you may know that I’ve been building side hustles and online businesses for over a decade now.

I’ve learned a lot along the way.

Mostly about what not to do. I’m still learning and discovering a lot of insights, finding new things, and picking up a lot of tips along the way.

I’ve two goals for this newsletter.

1 — Help others in their journey. If one of my emails helps just a single one of you to overcome something maybe be blocking you, then I’m happy.

2 — Gives me a chance to reflect on what I’m learning, and how things are going with my own online businesses. It can be hard to step back and look at how far you’ve come when your nose is to the grindstone. “The best way to learn is to teach”.

With that out of the way. Back to today’s insight.

So…You Have An Online Business Idea

That’s great.

I truly believe now is the best time in history to get started. Yes, it’s more competitive than ever, but the barrier to entry is also the lowest it’s ever been, and it will only get lower.

Now, if you’re coming up with a million and one features, services, or products, I want you to STOP.

It’s very easy to keep adding. What I’ve found works is by asking: what can you take away that gives you the best chance of success?

Take a simple idea and execute it to the best of your ability.

Real-World Example

I know this is easier said than done.

Let me give you an example.

Look at the success that Wordle has had. So much so that The New York Times was willing to pay $1 million to its creator for it.

It took him less than a year to achieve this success.

How did he do it?

By having a very simple idea, but making it unbelievably good.

Yes, it sounds like I’m playing it down. I’m not.

The way the animation works, the stats, the ability to share it. All are implemented to a very high standard. It is so easy to play Wordle.

But look at the concept:

“Create an online game where you solve a 5 letter word in six attempts, with hints to show you if you’re on track.”

A simple sentence to sum up the hit of 2021/2022.

That’s what I’m getting at.

Practice What You Preach

So, how am I implementing this in my own products?

I will use a mobile app I developed in 2020 to show you how I’m taking inspiration from Wordle.

I won’t go into the product too much, it’s for people who like to go fishing. You can check it out here.

My initial idea had 4 or 5 different features that I wanted to include in the app. I went with the one I put in place the quickest. Even at the start of this year, I wanted to add more of the features.

After playing Wordle, this has completely changed.

The app currently allows you to record fishing trips. It works, it has a lot of features. But it isn’t the nicest thing to use, and there is so much scope for improvement. Both design-wise and new features.

Instead of adding new features to the app. I’ve taken feedback from the early adopters and focused on improving the diary/log. So that’s it’s the best I could possibly build given the resources at my disposal.

How You Can Simplify Your Online Business Idea.

What steps can you do to simplify your idea so you can make it the best you possibly can?

Here is a simple 4 step process to follow.

1 — Write down all your idea/features/services/products/etc.

I know I told you to stop. This step is key.

Braindump everything you want to include, or could include in your online business idea.

2 — Pick the Top 5 you are most excited about.

From that list, make another list of the top 5 things you brain dumped.

Trust your gut on this, if you think they are the best then go with it.

If you’ve done the hard process of validating your idea. Which one thing stood out most to your potential customers?

3 — Pick a single idea from your top 5 and expand it.

Don’t hold back here. Try to think:

“How can I make this ‘thing’ the best it can possibly be with the resources at my disposal”.

Go crazy, expand that one thing.

But, be careful, you could be adding things that aren’t related. Make sure it makes that one thing better. Don’t have two things that are OK.

4 — Create a mindmap of your online business idea

This step will get everything off the paper, or out of your head and allow you to organize everything.

It will also help you because it’s the basis of your POA, your plan of attack to start moving forward.

Congratulation, You’re In The Top 1%

If you’ve done this, well done, a massive pat on the back.

I’ve chatted to so many people with business ideas, where that’s all it is, is an idea in their head.

If you’ve done the work (it will only take you an hour or two) and have a mindmap (online or on paper). Honestly, you are further on than 99% of the population.

Great work.

I’m proud of you.

If you like this post. Check my podcast #75 — What you can learn from the phenomenon that is Wordle.

Originally published at on April 28, 2022.



Phillip Hughes

Tech entrepreneur and side hustler. Founder of and Loves fishing. Plays guitar. Enjoys exercise.