Quite a few of my friends recently have started their ventures, and I'm sure many more are planning to, over the next few years. I'm not sure about the reasons behind each of them, but broadly it may have to do with boredom with corporate life, and in some cases a deep desire to do something unique and different. With recession talks almost always grabbing the newspaper headlines, we may just be entering the era of innovation, and this may be the right time to start something.
I have been thinking along similar lines for some time, but not in terms on any specific ideas. Till now, the thought has been pretty broad, with things like whether to be based in city A or city B, or whether it should be an online service based venture, or things like this. In my view, unless one is Steve Jobs, specific ideas aren't usually the starting point. One can always look at his surroundings, and locate 5 different business opportunities. The key, in my view, is to be able to decide on the macro variable - people, place, medium, capital, etc. Once you have sorted these basic issues, you can always take the plunge.
Here are some of the interesting ventures by a few of my friends, produced below without their permissions (I hope no one minds some words written about them):
Copper Sky Journeys: This one is my favorite of all the ventures I have come across, and I like both the business idea, as well as the web design part of it. Its a very simplistic design, and still presents almost all the necessary information anyone would need.
Purple Penguin Realty: This is a relatively new venture, and the website went live just a couple of weeks back. They deal in the real estate business, and though I couldn't understand the whole business plan properly from their website, it nonetheless appears an interesting opportunity given that the sector is completely dominated by unprofessional (to say the least) people.
Both of these are in sunshine sectors, with both real estate and tourism offering lots of opportunities for growth in future.