Eric Sink’s latest column describes a series of steps to help find a good product idea for starting a micro-ISV (independent software vendor). One of the points made is to “think about problems, not technologies.”
Finding a product idea will probably require you to think exactly the opposite of the way you usually think. You need to focus on problems to be solved, not on technologies to be applied.
You are a geek. You think about technologies first. You see a cool new platform and try to think of a way to use it. You discover the Opacity property in Windows Forms and you start trying to think of ways to apply it. If you are not already using the .NET Framework, you are frustrated, because everybody else is talking about how cool it is.
You probably won’t find a good software product idea until you stop thinking so much about software. Instead, think about problems that need to be solved. Then, think about how software could be used to solve them.