Lapizuli - those are very interesting thoughts. And yes I think there is some truth in what you're saying. Where I get stuck though is that the obvious ideas have way too much competition at this moment. I tend to think things go in waves - a new set of possibilities open up, everyone jumps on them and then things are saturated for a while, as we await the next opportunity. For example, ecommerce was an obvious opportunity in 1996, but is there much opportunity to sell online now, or are we beginning a consolidate phase there now? SaaS seems in its prime right now but really the best opportunity for someone without funding was probably starting a SaaS business 4 or 5 years ago. Mobile seems like it was the latest big new innovation opportunity but somehow that seems to have become a bit saturated already within a few short years.
I agree with the idea of helping old models convert to new ones. A classic example is how to help the small business get a website online or helping real estate agents drive leads online. But those are done to death already. And so then what?
I feel like I'm waiting for the next wave and it hasn't arrived yet. Or am I sitting on a wave and just not realizing it? :)