- Find The Right Idea For You
- Characteristics of Great Opportunities
- Ideation Frameworks & Heuristics
- The Role of Markets & Timing
- Pressure Testing Initial Ideas
- Ideation Psychology
- Idea Validation & Signal Testing
- Going All-In
- Additional Resources
Start from first principles. All great startup ideas solve an acute problem.
"The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It's to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself. The very best startup ideas tend to have three things in common: they're something the founders themselves want, that they themselves can build, and that few others realize are worth doing. Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Google, and Facebook all began this way.”
The most important thing in both judging and formulating ideas is the quality of “problem fit”: the intersection of the right person to solve the right problem.
In starting a founder journey it’s also helpful to know whether you bias toward venture scale problems, or non venture scale problems. Choosing the venture path is making an inherent agreement: you are going to the moon, or you are blowing up on the launch pad. The expectation for venture backed founders is to achieve ‘high velocity’ milestones. It’s a life of stress and pressure that is not necessarily wise, or healthy for most founders.
- Non-Venture Scale Problems: Applies to most businesses. Most businesses don’t require venture capital. While “Lifestyle” businesses get a bad rap, they are often a better choice and counter intuitively result in MORE successful exits for founders than venture funded businesses.
- Venture Scale Problems: A venture scale problem from a founders perspective should feel like a race against time. You should feel that your solution address a hair-on-fire problem for a customer massive customer set. You should also feel that your only path to winning is dominating your market.
→ Important Note: Many founders seek investment because they otherwise can not work full-time solving their problem, or afford to build the solution. This is a trap: 95% of founders needing investment to “validate” a problem will fail. Often they seek investment to validate themselves, or the idea. IMO to have the highest chance for success as a vc-backed founder, only raise capital after you have proven to yourself that you are solving a “hair-on-fire” and your urgency to solve it on a massive scale is imperative to do now.
For the rest of this manual, I will focus on venture-scale problems, though nearly all the concepts also apply to non-venture opportunities (they are just less important to overall success).
Find The Right Idea For You
Before jumping into resources for brainstorming, it’s important to understand the concept of founder-market fit. The reason being that even if you have the greatest idea in the world, most investors will discount it heavily if you do not have the ideal background to execute it. The good news is that typically the best ideas you will have are ideas you are uniquely suited to solve because you have an earned secret. However, I personally find it helpful to remind myself of the importance of solving a problem I am uniquely qualified to solve.
Rather than focusing on lists of individual ideas, it can be helpful to instead focus on what YC calls “idea spaces”, i.e., collections of closely related startup ideas. A good approach is to map your team’s skills and earned secrets to idea spaces where you have unique insights.
- What are my personal super powers?
- Do I have any earned secrets?
- Do I have any unfair advantages? (often relates to distribution, or access)
- Is there a problem I’m obsessed with solving?
A16Z termed the phrase "earned secret" (8:20): i.e., "You did something in your past: you tried to solve some hard problem and you learned something about the world that not a lot of other people know."
Characteristics of Great Opportunities
- You have a secret (i..e, you have a non-obvious solution to an obvious problem)
- Helps customers with self-actualization (help someone make money, help them get laid, etc)
- Is both 10x — and cheaper (i.e., democratize access to an ‘elite’ product offering)
- Piggybacks off an inflection or change (i.e., there is a very clear ‘why now’)
- Note: there are essentially six types of inflection
- Regulatory change
- A new platform/OS emergence
- Consumer behaviorial change
- Technology change
- New business model
- Existing strong need but current solutions are low NPS
Case Study: Uber
- The secret was that black cars were underutilized assets
- Uber helped drivers self-actualize by earning money and helped riders self actualize by gaining status (being picked up in a black car)
- Ubers was both a 10x experience verses yellow cabs — and was cheaper
- Uber was not possible without the iPhone (apps, payments, GPS)
- Uber induced mimetic desire (”my friend is using black cars → I want that too!”)
Ideation Frameworks & Heuristics
Steve Jobs famously stated:
“Everything in the world was created by people no smarter than you”
And it’s true. You are worthy of finding the next great idea.
But, as Daniel Gross likes to say, you need to start small. Start writing down ideas now.
Also, don’t be afraid of approaches that sound crazy. As Sam Altman states:
“The best ideas are fragile; most people don’t even start talking about them at all because they sound silly”
Remember, ideation is a muscle.
You need to practice and allow ample time for ideas to marinate and cross-pollinate.
What follows are frameworks to stimulate ideation.
Idea Space Mapping: For each founder, write down each past jobs (or major life experiences) and list problems you saw that are not widely known (i.e., your earned secrets). What were you in a special position to observe while there? Next write each founders unique skills and start to map intersections of problems and unique skills.
Chris Hladczuk on Twitter
💡 Startup Ideas💡How do you find great ideas? How do you evaluate them?• @paulg• @sama • @eriktorenberg • @Austen • @cdixon • @lennysan • @shl 7 thoughts from 7 deep thinkers…— Chris Hladczuk (@chrishlad) September 6, 2020
What startup will you build? Identifying market white space - David Teten
I periodically present on how to identify, research, and assess new business ideas, including to OCE Discovery (Canada's largest innovation conference),
How To Make Millions With Idea Sex - James Altucher
Stan Weston had an idea that would change the lives of little boys forever. And then he made a really bad decision. He knew that girls liked to play with dolls. But boys had no dolls to play with. Boys liked guns and action. Dolls + Action == ??
John Carmack on Idea Generation
Last year at an internal talk at Facebook I was fortunate to see John Carmack speak about his idea generation system. At first I was disappointed because I was expecting one of Carmack's famous technical talks where he spends hours talking non-stop about programming languages, game development, large scale software engineering and many other interesting technical topics.
Erik Torenberg on Twitter: "Frameworks for coming up with startup ideas 👇"The best way to come up with startup ideas is to lead an interesting life & be curious.If you put yourself in a position to have problems-if you're at a company, if you start a family, etc-you'll be in a position to have ideas." / Twitter"
Frameworks for coming up with startup ideas 👇"The best way to come up with startup ideas is to lead an interesting life & be curious.If you put yourself in a position to have problems-if you're at a company, if you start a family, etc-you'll be in a position to have ideas."
Systematic Ideation for Startups & Venture Theses
Update: A visual reference guide to this post can be . As thesis-driven early-stage VCs, one of the activities that we're frequently engaged in is startup ideation. Whether it's discussing new opportunities with entrepreneurs, developing concepts that can serve as investment theses, or for businesses our firm can incubate, the activity can be perpetual in venture.
Mapping the Insights that Drive Startup Ideas & Theses
Over the past 6 years, I've been fortunate to work across multiple VC firms that have active incubation and thesis-driven investment practices. In both approaches, one of the frequent activities that an investor engages in is the development and evaluation of new ideas.
12 Frameworks for Finding Startup Ideas - Advice for Future Founders
The scene is often romanticized in magazine profiles of successful founders: the keen observation jotted down in a notebook. The serendipitous conversation that clicks the puzzle pieces into place. The idea is where everything begins - at least, that's what we're led to believe.
A successful framework distills the complex, and in that synthesis, gets to a timeless insight. That's always my aspiration, to varying degrees of success. Here's a running list of frameworks I've written on a range of topics. Recipes to build enduring, mass-market businesses: 10x and Cheaper - What do Airbnb, Amazon, Netflix, Uber, and WhatsApp all have in common?
How to brainstorm great business ideas
It's been said that ideas don't matter, and that only execution does. I wholeheartedly disagree. You need both to succeed, but you can only get so good at execution. A great idea gives you much more leverage. Below is my framework for coming up with great business ideas.
A brainstorming framework for aspiring founders
Pattern recognition is a natural human inclination, but the paradox of venture capital is that investors are at their best-and their worst-when they rely on this cognitive skill. After interacting with a high volume of startups and founding teams, the urge is hard to resist as I see recurring patterns in how founders explore and consider new opportunities.
How to Have 1,044 Startup Ideas in 10 months
We started a venture studio at the beginning of 2022. Ten months later, we're excited to share that we've brainstormed 1,044 startup ideas so far. (Without a single Post-It.) How did we do it? Read on. In a typical week, we generate 16 ideas, with slow weeks in the single digits and great weeks at 50+.
fintechjunkie.eth on Twitter
1/30: There’s a supply/demand imbalance in the startup world (too much capital/not enough great companies). This means it’s a great time to be a Founder if you have an epic idea, but how do you know if your idea is any good? I asked some amazing VCs and here’s their advice: pic.twitter.com/qSEYGJIFyH— fintechjunkie.eth (@fintechjunkie) November 27, 2020
Where Do Great Ideas Come From?
Seven research studies reveal the people, incentives, and environments that create innovation.
The Art of Ideation, Part 1: Be a BUM — gaganbiyani.com
While exploring the idea for my new company, I taught a well-received online course at Oxford, OnDeck and via theHustle. This course is about one of the gnarliest challenges of business: generating and evaluating business ideas. I like to call it “The Art of Ideation.” Ideation is not a straight-l
- Great mobile apps should be remote controls for real life: push a button and something amazing happens in the user’s world - Matt Cohler
- What is a big industry that feels broken?
- Steal the key feature of a Series B company. This is a playbook from - TK Kader
- If you have a task that takes you more than 3 minutes to do online then there is an opportunity to start a business. [video] - Kevin Ryan
- What’s a successful company blueprint that you can apply a new variant/angle to?
- Whenever you have a question you want answered and you don’t know the site that will answer it — there is a company idea. [video] - Kevin Ryan
- Find an emerging trend and take it to it's end conclusion (ex: brokerages lowering commissions, Robinhood goes to $0 commission)
- Look for generational shifts (ex: my parents are not my grandparents) or draft on regulatory shifts (ex: GDPR)
- Take a product used by consumers and think how an enterprise might use it: i.e., same old trick, brand new platform
- Find large highly fragmented industry w low NPS; vertically integrate a solution to simplify value product.Build something on top of a growing distribution channel (ex; Paypal built on eBay, D2C on FB) Rabois
- What tech sectors are soon to become “garage ready”? i.e, a founder with very little capital can change the world. Every vertically integrated, capital-intensive sector will eventually become garage ready (Dixon)
- Find a process a Fortune 500 company does over and over again (Elad Gill)...Take a manual and often-repeated Fortune 2000 internal process, create a workflow and API for it, and self-serve to a growing segment of startups (Aashay) find a commonly used spreadsheet (eg cap tables) and turn it into a dashboard (eg Carta). Replace email attachments with workflows. Spreadsheets are the long tail of datasets that don’t have their own SaaS tool yet. (David Sacks)
- Any time you see an area that is $50-$100 billion in purchases and there is not one site where you can figure out what you want to buy — especially in the B2B space — then that is where you want to launch a company. [video] - Kevin Ryan
- Innovate around convenience (OneMedical) or cost (Warby Parker) but goal is both (Uber)
- Find the gap between sci-fi & sci-fact h/t @wolfejosh
- Commoditize your opposite (i.e. what Amazon did to retail)
- What smart people do on the weekend will be a scaled activity in 10 years h/t @chrisdixon
- Build on top of existing protocols to make more accessible (i.e., Openphone built on top of Twilio)
- Democratizing access to X
- Increase liquidity in a previously illiquid market (by an order of magnitude) = huge business
- Chris Dixon: come for the tool, stay for the network
- "let people do x at home" = a good startup idea for surprising values of x (Paul Graham)
- The biggest consumer apps of the next decade will ‘passively’ improve existing consumer habits, or act as co-pilots: Spell check > Grammarly, Online shopping > Honey
- YC Recipes:
- 13:21 - Recipe #1: Start with what your team is especially good at
- 14:48 - Recipe #2: Think of things you wish someone would build for you
- 15:05 - Recipe #3: What would you be excited to work on for 10 years?
- 15:57 - Recipe #4: Look for things that have changed in the world recently
- 16:29 - Recipe #5: Look for companies that have been successful recently and look for new variants of them
- 17:24 - Recipe #6: Ask people you for problems they want solved
- 17:52 - Recipe #7: Look for industries that seem broken
- → Addiitonal Heuristics
The Role of Markets & Timing
A mistake a lot of people make in venture-scale ideation is prioritizing on TAM. e.g., “My idea must be big enough to attract VCs”. This is flawed thinking because it immediately starts you from a place removed from the customer.
A couple concepts to think about here:
- Kevin Kelley’s concept of 1,000 true fans.
- Not every idea needs to be venture scale. Even having 1,000 true fans (or customers) can create a thriving business - and possible big exit - for most people.
- You should be less concerned about TAM and more concerned whether or not there are 5-10 customers you know who truly want your solution (and would pay you for it!).
- Starting with you focus on TAM means your less focused on individual people or companies.
Often you'll [create] products that will be used in ways where they're not used now, so they end up growing the market much more significantly
- The best ideas expand TAMs (i.e., seek fast growing niches)
- Many of the best startups grow by dominating a niche and expanding. They may also have a ‘secret’ and be early to a small market, but with an expanding TAM.
- Your solution also may be used in ways not anticipated. Great markets (i.e., customers have a dire problem) will “pull” the solution out of you.
- If you are taking advantage of a inflection, you will create a solution that was not previously possible. As such, you may create an entirely new market.
- Most sufficiently severe problems are indicative of large markets
Pmarchive · The only thing that matters
This post is all about the only thing that matters for a new startup. But first, some theory: If you look at a broad cross-section of startups-say, 30 or 40 or more; enough to screen out the pure flukes and look for patterns-two obvious facts will jump out at you.
Startup Handbook: Market Pull
This lesson explains how to identify which startups are most likely to succeed. It explains what the most successful startups have in common. After reviewing thousands of startups at my fund, Julian.capital, and at Carveout, I stumbled into an insight that spurred this handbook: most $1B+ tech startups fall into one of seven product categories.
How to Identify Underrated Markets
Extraordinary performance in venture capital hinges on the ability to identify overlooked and underrated opportunities in entirely new markets. But resisting the urge to conform as peers and competitors move in the opposite direction is much easier said than done.
Future Founders, Here's How to Spot and Build in Nonobvious Markets
Nonobvious markets can lead to hypergrowth, but they're hard to spot in the moment. Leaning on his experience as a seasoned investor and operator, Elad Gil shares four principles to help uncover the three types of opportunities that others are overlooking.
Why Product Market Fit Isn't Enough - Brian Balfour
I've been lucky to have been part of building, advising, or investing in 40+ tech companies in the past 10 years. Some $100M+ wins. Some, complete losses. Most end up in the middle.
Pressure Testing Initial Ideas
Once you have started ideating you need to figure out which ideas merit deeper dives. It can be mentally tricky to move out of ideation and shift into execution, so I suggest having a pre-defined process for how you approach validating your ideas. Always bias toward action.
There is typically an interim ‘self-validation’ step before moving to externally validating your idea. Said differently, you need to be both confident enough and have produced some solution-asset in order get meaningful feedback.
Here are a couple suggestions:
Start with the basics:
- Complete a Business Model Canvas and/or complete this Jobs To Be Done exercise
- Work through your your value prop stories and unique value proposition (templates)
- Draft a short deck, or memo or one-pager
- I like the (very short) deck format PreHype proposes in The Acorn Method
Personally, I think the next major step is creating a PR/FAQ.
The PR/FAQ format was pioneered at Amazon and is used by multiple top venture studios. It forces you to think about things in a way that I believe is more impactful than simply writing a detailed one-pager.
The above will let you stress test a few ideas before moving on to validating with potential customers. Also keep yourself grounded in the guiding principles from above:
- Solve hair-on-fire problems (do not create products in search of solutions)
- Optimize for problems/solutions where you have founder-fit
One red flag that YC talks about are what they call “tar pit” ideas. These are ideas that sound good initially, but have structural issues making them very difficult to succeed in. As an example, personal CRMs is an idea many founders have failed to pull off. I personally find many ideas that focus on “productivity increases” as the big value-prop to fall into this category.
How To Build a Minimum Viable Company
Learn how to build a pre-seed stage company from Ann Miura-Ko, founding partner at the VC firm Floodgate. Ann’s advice comes from decades of turning pre-product market fit companies into minimum viable companies and then unicorns.
How to De-Risk a Startup
In a previous post, I wrote that startups are collections of risks, and that the best way to make progress on a company (and to get higher valuations from investors) is to address the biggest risks as quickly and thoroughly as possible. But how do you actually mitigate different types of risk?
The Power to Judge Startup Ideas - LessWrong
When Steve claims that Acme exploits its workers, he's role-playing the surface behaviors of an opinionated intellectual, but doesn't bother to actually be an opinionated intellectual, which would require him to nail down a coherent opinion.
A few years ago, I found myself doing a lot of research in order to identify startup opportunities to pursue. I built and sold a couple of bootstrapped startups, but success came much easier with one than the other and so had I become obsessed with trying to understand how to identify opportunities that were more likely to succeed than others.
Working Backwards | How PR/FAQs help launch successful products like AWS, Kindle & Prime Video · Working Backwards | How write-ups help launch successful products like AWS, the Kindle & Prime Video
Teams that use Working Backwards may not set speed records from idea conception to product launch. But they fare pretty well when judged by how quickly the product delights customers in a meaningful way. For example, AWS was one the first business units to adopt the Working Backwards process at Amazon for all of its services such as S3 and EC2.
Business Model Canvas Templates
Business Model Canvas Google Doc Simple Templates This unofficial template was created and originally posted on Acadicus VR Training blog. If you're not yet familiar with Business Model Canvas, definitely consider signing up for their online workshop or reading the books. They're an invaluable...
Ideation means constantly moving back and fourth between states of convergence and divergence.
→ On The Emotional Roller Coaster
Ideation journeys are emotional roller coasters. I have done it myself — and I have born witness to many friends and founders doing the same. The worst situations are when you have time-boxed yourself: this usually happens when you have limited financial runway, such as a business you raised outside capital for is not working and you need to pivot. Ideation is inseparable from most other creative endeavors. It’s rare that an artist does her best/most creative work when under the gun of a looming deadline. Therefore the best times to ideate are when the mind is relaxed and not stressed.
Another emotional issue I see frequently play out (and have experienced myself) is what many previously successful founders experience when thinking about their next act. Alex Furmansky summarizes this PTSD and highlights the Goldilocks Paradox:
Any new startup idea was either too difficult or too inconsequential. No idea is perfectly worth diving into.
SkimIt.ai: How post-exit founders overcame PTSD to build a useful ai app
I've had a hard time starting anything new since my last exit. After being stuck in founders block, I learned I could get back into my flow state by lowering the bar from " build the next unicorn" to " build something my friends use".
Another great resource here is the book, The War of Art.
The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not. He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.
→ On Risk
Wrapped up in ideation is also the psychology of risks. Startup can be viewed as bundles of risk. Founders should know what risks they are best suited for. As an example, first-time founders are often better served going after market risk whereas seasoned founders often prefer to focus on execution risk or focus on distribution as they are more confident in their go-to-market and execution
Both Jerry Neumann and NFX have made the point that in going after a venture-scale problems, non-intuitively most founders would also be wise to take “bigger swings” and pursue “riskier” ideas.
Why Founders Should Take More Risk
Behind every iconic company is a radical, risk-laden idea. But as the startup ecosystem has grown, we've seen a decreasing appetite for risk & an increased emphasis on predictability and familiarity. Yet if you carefully study the most successful technology companies of our time, you'll find something curious - not only are they born from ...
→ The Role Of Luck & Timing
Psychology in entrepreneurship is also challenging because timing and luck certainly play a role in success. However, great business ideas are not simply attributable to “luck”. We know this because many great founder and venture studios are able to repeatedly find venture-scale opportunities — and execute against them.
Atomic, AlleyCorp and Sutter Hill all have incredible hit rates for incubating unicorn companies. All three of these studios 1) follow a clear process involving much rigor of thought 2) draw from years of earned secrets and 3) draw from unfair advantages in networks and connections.
My main takeaway here has been that ideation is a muscle.
You need to follow a process and put in the reps/practice.
→ On ‘Ah Ha Moment’ Fallacy
Problems worth solving are all around us. Where your idea comes from should not matter so much as whether you are working on solving the right problem for you.
Just because you (personally) can’t seem to identify the right problem/solution worth pursuing, doesn’t mean you must give up. In my career I have rarely been the one who came up with the initial idea. It’s my belief that “founding stories” and “aha moments” don’t really matter. Growing businesses are fun businesses to run. Many great companies who claim to have some amazing “aha founding moment” have re-written history. It doesn’t matter where your idea comes from. But — the ideas you are most likely to be successful at will come from personal insight or experience.
However, if there is one thing I have learned it is that startup ideas should not be forced. As mentioned previously, coming at things from the perspective of “I have X amount of time to think of my next company idea” is a recipe for disappointment.
Three more points:
- There is nothing wrong with joining an existing company as an early employee. Often your ideation journey will lead you to someone already working on the same problem, but with a big head start, or a more unique approach. Consider joining forces.
- You can explore joining a startup studio, or joining a foundry.
- EIR roles are best suited for second time founders ready to validate ideas in a specific space. EIR roles are not good places for people ideating.
- While I find it unlikely to result in the best idea for you, googling for: “requests for startups” might spark creative juices. RFS100 is an example. YC’s list is another.
Final thought: be wary of over-thinking. Often your first idea is your best idea.
→ Reid Hoffman on Why You Should Not Underestimate Your First Idea
Idea Validation & Signal Testing
I am not going to go into any great depth on the topic of how to validate your ideas. At a high-level, it’s imperative that collect feedback from potential customers. At this stage you should already have what I call a solution-asset: a landing page, deck, or memo you get specific feedback on and ideally use to “sign someone up” for your service or waiting list.
Collecting customer feedback is helpful, but you need to be very wary of confirmation bias (hearing what you want to hear). The best way to avoid this is by getting paying customers. Customer who are not only willing, but happily willing, to part with money for your solution are the best data points that you are really on to something.
Ways you can collect data / perform customer development:
- Surveys - I personally find surveys somewhat overrated. People tend to ask leading questions and to share with networks that lead toward confirmation bias issues. Also who who wants to do another Typeform survey? Nevertheless surveys can be useful
- LOIs (B2B) - Use LOIs to get businesses to pre-commit to paying you once your service is available. If you can get them to pay in advance, even better. LOIs are great, but most VCs will still discount them relative to actual paying customers.
- Paid Acquisition Testing (B2C) - Paid acquisition testing (i.e., spinning up a landing page and running traffic to gage conversion/interest) is a great strategy. It does cost something and requires some homework to setup your ad campaigns, but it will likely provide the most unbiased feedback. Don’t worry too much about ROAS at this point.
- Paid Betas - Similar to LOIs. I have seen this for both consumer and B2B products. You essentially pitch your product, and get someone to pay a heavily discounted, but meaningful amount to participate. This can be done in advance of an MVP, or for a super early product iteration. You can also promise to reimburse customers within 60 days if they don’t love it.
→ One survey framework I like.
Gagan Biyani, co-founder of Maven, proposes a great framework for idea validation in this First Round Review post:
The Minimum Viable Testing Process for Evaluating Startup Ideas
The traditional approach is to do some customer research, throw an MVP out there as fast as possible, and hope it hits. After being early at three startups that achieved over $1M in run-rate in their first six months of going live, Gagan Biyani has landed on an approach that’s quite different. Here’s his framework.
I also like how Matt Mochary approaches things:
→ Case Study:
A curated list of customer development resources (40+) 📖 [updated: Jul 2022]
Customer development. I love it. Finding out what works and what not is super important and often overlooked by entrepreneurs who what to ship asap. I too want to ship asap, but I also want to ship stuff that is actually going to be used by people. That's what customer development is for.
How to Conduct a Market Research Survey for Your Startup Idea
Not your friends, not your colleagues, not your mom. This is a truly rndom set of 300 people, all of whom are willing to listen to your product idea and tell you exactly what they think. That's gold. Otherwise known as a "survey." Yes, a boring, roll-your-eyes, get-too-many-of-these online survey.
What aisle/what shelf? - BeyondVC
I met with an entrepreneur this week who had a fantastic background and great technology. However, it was a technology in search of a problem to solve. Why? Because he could not readily answer some fundamental questions like what problem are you solving, who is the buyer of the product, and what is the amount...
Startup Handbook: Landing Page Copywriting
Update Now you can work with me: I design/write gorgeous sites through my agency. This resource covers how to write and design a homepage (landing page) that converts visitors into customers. Let's start by identifying the three common landing pages: Homepage - Your catch-all for all visitors.
In 2 hours: How to Build & Validate Startup Idea with a Landing Page MVP
Note: This article is part of my toolkit newsletters ↗️ where I share resources about building things. Join me :) As a product person↗️ , I build prototype to solve problems using tech and design. Some of them are built in code , no-code , or spreadsheet A few months ago, I helped to prototype a startup idea for a friend, Chris.
Lean Market Validation: 10 Ways to Rapidly Test Your Startup Idea
This article outlines the advice I gave students and includes updates on some of the concepts to my current thinking on lean market validation. For many first-timers with great ideas, the process is exciting but also a bit intimidating.
How to Create a Million-Dollar Business This Weekend (Examples: AppSumo, Mint, Chihuahuas) - The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss
Noah Kagan built three multi-million dollar online businesses before turning 28. He also looks great in green. (Photo: Brandon Wells) I first met Noah Kagan over rain and strong espressos at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View, CA. It was 2007. We were both in hoodies, had a shared penchant for the F-bomb and burritos, ...
First Round Capital - Discovery Assist
We're committed to helping you perfect your pitch, identify questions that will help you pull out insights from your conversations, shadow your discovery conversations to share feedback, and help you zoom out to identify themes.
Our AI writes detailed documentation (like this) for exactly how to build your automation. You can implement it or we get someone to do it for you. Access to 24/7 debugging tech assistance in our Discord
Congrats! If you have made it this far you likely honed in on the business you really want to pursue.
My advice is to maniacally focus on your customer feedback and traction until the point where you feel the urgency to make it your full-time thing. At that point you should bootstrap until the point where you feel your product shipping velocity merits the need for outside capital — and you are willing to make the the venture-backed founder agreement.
Final closing thought: When Sam Altman was asked what defined the best startups he stated:
“The number one lesson we try to teach startups is that the degree to which you are successful approximates the degree to which you built a product so good people spontaneously tell their friends about it”.
It’s both that simple and that hard.
Courses & Communities:
There are infinite opportunities to build profitable businesses thanks to the internet. I know, I know. You've heard it a thousand times before. And still, most people can't even list 5 business ideas let alone a good one. How can that be? Is the "infinite number of opportunities created by the internet" simply a lie?
No-Code MVP - Build and validate startup ideas without code
I've just sent a list of previews to your email address. If you don't see it in your inbox, check your spam folder :) ✔ Startup Entrepreneurs Who is this for? ✔ Product Managers & Marketers Are there any prerequisites? Did you guess that you don't need to know how to code for this course?
Evaluating your startup idea - Brad Feld on Validating Your Startup Idea Video Tutorial | LinkedIn Learning, formerly Lynda.com
From the course: Brad Feld on Validating Your Startup Idea - When entrepreneurs pitch me, I'm often looking for whether they're passionate about what they're doing, or obsessed about the business that they're trying to create.
Here's how to increase your chances of building a successful product There's a process that you can implement early on, during your ideation phase, that can significantly increase the chances of building a successful product and business. It's notguaranteed, obviously. But we've learned ways to research and spot ideas that can dramatically increase the likelihood of success.
I generally don’t recommend reading a bunch of books on ideation/entrepreneurship they are unnecessary. Founders should be biased toward action: If you have read even 50% of the posts linked above, you know enough to get going. Just start ideating and validating.
The Minimalist Entrepreneur: How Great Founders Do More with Less
Amazon.com: The Minimalist Entrepreneur: How Great Founders Do More with Less: 9780593192399: Lavingia, Sahil: Books
The Acorn Method: How Companies Get Growing Again
The Acorn Method: How Companies Get Growing Again - Kindle edition by Werdelin, Henrik. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Acorn Method: How Companies Get Growing Again.
The War of Art
Amazon.com: The War of Art (Audible Audio Edition): Steven Pressfield, Steven Pressfield, Black Irish Entertainment LLC: Audible Books & Originals
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future [Thiel, Peter, Masters, Blake] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon
Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon [Bryar, Colin, Carr, Bill] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon