Everyone wants to start his own startup and be his own boss.
For the past few years you have had this idea in your head to change your career and create a startup with you own invention. The market of startups has gotten pretty big in the past couple of years and it has gotten a lot more difficult to succeed in this field.
This article will talk about how to find an idea and develop it to a proper startup. So if you are interested, stay tuned!!
One of the most common problems is to have an idea to start with. There are so many new inventions and so many new technology every day, it is hard to keep up to date! The one thing you can do, is look for common problems people have in their lives. Therefore you can help them by providing a solution!
When it comes to well-known startups they all have something in common, it is the WHY, why they are doing it, that only thing the founders can answer, understand and only few others can imagine that it is worth doing. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Snapchat and Uber all started this way.
In this article you will see how you can find your ideas, why you can do a lot with it and how can you work on it every single hour of your life without thinking that you are working.
You should start working on problems and specially yours because you will be sure they really exist and you see them every day.
When it comes to founders, why so many of them create startups or products that no one wants ? That is because they were focusing on finding a business idea and not of resolving a problem. At YC ( Y Combinator ) those ideas are called “made-up” or “sitcom” startup ideas.
Now that you have set up the main context of seraching for your ideas, let me show you how to do it in a clean way !
The winning duo : passion and expertise
We will begin by a simple task that helps improving your creativity. You should take a sheet of paper or use your laptop or phone. Really, go for it, NOW ;).
Great ! At the top of this document write “My passions” and list 10 of them! Do not stop until you listed them all. The first ones will come quickly and if you can not think of 10 then just write activities or other domains you like.
Done ? Perfect ! Now we will do the same thing with your talents and skills. Take another sheet of paper, name it “My skills and talents”. Write down all your talents and the domains you are good in. Here as well, try to list 10! Extra tip: you do not need to be an expert in those areas, but a little knowledge in them would be helpful.
You got it? Amazing job! This two documents will help you to find your startup idea.
This is not because there is tons of supermarkets that there is no place for yours. And it is also true for all the other enterprises whose ideas already exists, there is no need to reinvent the wheel for creating his company.
We will go from you : examine attentively your passion and expertise lists. Is there a domain where you can create your classical enterprise on and you will like ?
Find an idea from your passions, your competences or both have their advantages and their inconveniences.
Find an idea from your passions
- You will have a lot of chances to develop your competences, sometimes more than usual, in a domain you like.
- You will be very motivated more than your enthusiasm to create your enterprise.
- You will make a dream happen by being excellent in a domain you like and by earning money from it.
- Sometimes, when we work on something that passionate us we eventually associate some unpleasant sensations with our passion (stress, unsatisfied clients, financial difficulties, etc.). So on you will appreciate less and less your passion till it won’t be one. It does not happen every time but it is a risk, particularly if your domain is stressful and you do it every day, and you have not practiced your passion professionally before.
- You will have to develop skills from the very beginning, that can be sometimes difficult to have them rapidly, or you will have to associate with someone who has those competences or hire him, and cause an extra charge to you and your business.
- Have a passion for your domain and acquire by yourself or by someone else the technical competence don’t have to let you forget you have to manage your enterprise and it requires a lot of other skills than the technical ones. You will have to learn how to manage your company financially, how to find new clients and convince them to buy your products or your services, eventually to recruit and to manage, etc.
Find an idea from your competences
- You already have the necessary technical skills to work on your topic, it will make you focus on bringing more clients and in the other enterprise aspects to master (finance, recruiting, management, etc.).
- The fact that you already have some experience with that domain will bring you a lot of assets to start : base of clients already existing, a network of providers and partners, a better credibility, etc.
- If you are not passionate by the domain, once the first enthusiasm of creating your startup is gone, you will run a risk of being bored and you will think that it does not worth doing.
- Being technically competent does not have to make you forget managing your company because it requires a lot of other skills than the technical ones. You will have to learn how to manage your enterprise at a financial level, find your prospects, and convince them to buy what you offer, eventually how to recruit and manage, etc.
Find and idea from your skills that are also your passions
- It is the ideal ! You are passionate by the subject and competent. You will have the experience, the competence and the motivation who are huge assets for your success.
- As you have already practiced this passion and it remained a passion, you will be stronger to face the “usury” than if you begun without any knowledge in the area (see above). It is even better if you practiced the passion in a professional level, because in that case you have been able to manage the stress confronting this business and you will be able to let your passion remains a passion. There is a lot of chances that it will remain even after creating your startup.
- Start a business that passionate you and where you are competent in can let you forget all the tasks related to its management, because you will need other skills than the technical ones.
- You will also have to learn how to manage your company at a financial level, find new clients and to convince the to buy your products and services, eventually to recruit and manage, etc.
Thank you for reading this and hope you will find your ideas as quick as you can start implementing them !
You can find me as well in those links :
See also :
Startup advice and stories
- Quora questions – What is the hardest part about staring a company, Common mistakes made when starting a tech company, Top five things to remember whens starting a company
- James Altucher, TechCrunch – Should you start a company?
- Jason Goldberg, Betashop – 13 things you must do every week as a startup CEO
- Seth Sternberg, Meebo co-founder (acquired by Google since this article) – From nothing to something. How to get there.
- Ben Horowitz vs Fred Wilson – Ben posts (case for fat startup), Fred rebuts (fat not healthy), Ben rebuts (revenge of fat guy)
- Neil Patel, Geekwire – Wish I would have known before starting my own business
- Dane Carlson – 20 things not to do before starting a business (I agree with most of this, but not #1 if you can afford it)
- Scott Weiss, TechCrunch – The path to starting a startup
- James Altucher, TechCrunch – What you can learn from Woody Allen
- Erick Schonfeld (2006), 5 ways to start a company (without quitting your day job)
- Ryan Roberts, Startup Lawyer – If I launched a startup (great cheat sheet)
- Quora – How do you start a company
- Forbes – 38 things to do when starting a business (non-tech)
- Fiverr – Startup checklist (non-tech, and website is a little kitschy with all the dashes, stars, and arrows in the text)
Finance and Legal
- Quora – What questions do entrepreneurs want to ask venture investors most but are afraid to ask
- Chris Dixon – So you want to raise seed capital
- Fred Wilson, AVC – Financing options for startups, Financing options: convertible debt (likely way you will raise your first round of angel/seed money)
- Ryan Roberts, Startup Lawyer – How convertile debt works, What type of entity should I form, What does a series A term sheet look like
- Martin Kleppmann – Valuation caps on convertible notes explained with graphs
- Orrick – Startup toolkit
- Brad Feld, Foundry Group (venture capital firm) – Term sheet series wrap up
- Babak Nivi, Venture Hacks – What does an employee offer letter look like, Questions recruits might ask Part I, Part II
- Robert Scoble, Quora – How to avoid hiring the wrong people for your startup
- Elad Gil, Elad blog – Hiring for cultural fit
Blogs by entrepreneurs:
- Jason Goldberg – Betashop
- Danielle Morrill – Danielle Morrill’s blog
- Marco Arment – Marco.org
- Ben Milne – Ben Milne’s blog
- Kate Kendall – Kate Kendall’s blog
- Guy Kawasaki – How to change the world
- Seth Godin – Seth Godin’s blog
- Sriram Krishnan – Sriram Krishnan’s blog
- Penelope Trunk – Penelope Trunk’s blog
- Scott Adams – Dilbert blog
- Neil Patel – Quick Sprout
- Eric Ries – Startup Lessons Learned
- Steve Blank – Steve Blank’s blog
- Dharmesh Shah – OnStartups
- Quora – Other startup founder blogs
Blogs by VCs:
- Brad Feld (Foundry Group) – FeldThoughts
- Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures) – AVC
- Dave McClure (500 Startups) – Master of 500 hats
- Paul Graham (Y Combinator +) – Paul Graham Essays
- David Lee (SV Angel) – daslee
- Chris Dixon (Andreessen Horowitz) – Chris Dixon’s blog
- Jeff Bussgang (Flybridge Capital Partners) – Seeing Both Sides
- Ben Horowitz (Andreessen Horowitz) – Ben’s blog
- Josh Kopelman (First Round Capital) – Redeye VC
- Mike Hirshland (Resolute.VC, formerly Polaris Ventures) – VCMike’s Blog
- David Cowan (Bessemer Venture Partners) – Who has time for this
- Jalak Jobanputra (FuturePerfect Ventures) – The barefoot VC
- Howard Morgan (First Round Capital) – Way too ealry
- Greg Gottesman (Madrona Venture Partners) – Stark Raving VC
- David Skok (Matrix Partners) – For entrepreneurs
- Mark Suster (GRP Partners) – Both Sides of the Table
- Jared O’Toole and Matt Wilson – Under 30 CEO
- Anita Campbell – Small Business Trends
- Andrew Chen – Andrew Chen’s blog
- Carson McComas, Work Happy blog for entrepreneurs
- Young Entrepreneur Blog
- Harvard Business Review Blog Network
- Business Pundit
Quora entrepreneurs to follow (there are a lot of ‘must follow’ lists of entrepreneurs on Quora, of which many aren’t very active. These people are)
- Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales
- Craigslist, Craig Newmark
- Blippy and Adbrite, Philip Kaplan
- Vontu & Pipewise, Michael Wolfe
- Quora & Facebook, Adam D’Angelo
- Friendster, Jonathan Abrams
- Instagram, Kevin Systrom
- Foursquare, Dennis Crowley
- Path, Dave Morin
- 500 Startups, Dave McClure
- Facebook, Dustin Moskovitz
- Mahalo, LAUNCH, & Weblogs, Jason Calacanis
- PayPal, David Sacks
- EchoSign, Jason M. Lemkin
- Wavii, Adrian Aoun
Other people’s lists
- SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration)
- StartupNation (Source for Small Business Advice)
- How To Get Startup Ideas – StartupGeist
- How to develop Your Startup Idea – Canvanizer
- How to Find the Right Business Idea When Starting a Business
- What are the best ways to think of ideas for a startup? – Quora
- How Can I Find a Good Startup Idea? | Enterprising Oxford\
- How To Find a Great Start-Up Idea – Forbes
- How to Find the Next Big Startup Idea | Inc.com
- How To Find 10 New Startup Ideas a Day – Startup Stories – Medium
- How to Get Startup Ideas – Paul Graham
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