Startup Ideas: Bullshit vs Brilliant
Good startup ideas are a basis for investments, but great ideas can be even more successful and influential to the target market. Is it possible to determine at early stages which idea is good enough for a successful startup and which one is awful and is not worth a penny? Let’s find this out.
If a startup is all about money, creating a startup is all about ideas. This may probably the most difficult step to perform and this may take a long time to generate a perfect business idea. Keep in mind that there are lots of good ideas that never succeed, so your idea must be extraordinary and different from anything else.
How can you recognize it? Well, there are no universal recipes, everything should be analyzed individually. At the moment, the IT startup market is concentrated around optimization of user experience and minimization of steps required to achieve a goal. For example, you can find many startup projects working on all-in-one solutions, like different messengers, aggregators, automation tools, etc. Pibox, Authy, 21 – these projects combine several features that other popular solutions lack.
Another interesting ideas incubator is delivery: if you are thinking about your own service to deliver something (no matter what it is) faster than others, you are on half-way to succeed. Coffee, alcohol, moving and delivery… this list tends to be endless, just because it’s a perfect place for your imagination. Today people are getting more involved in e-commerce (even when it comes to everyday goods) and want their purchases to be delivered as fast as possible without being ravaged by delivery taxes. So, a smart logistics plan, as well as quality-adjusted price as startup “features” will distinguish it from a bunch of other success seekers.
All the above examples outline that you can build your startup from everywhere, regardless of the resources you possess. What else? Probably, you will find some useful tips in the following ideas:
- Consultant. To be a consultant, you need to have an expertise that can promote you on the market as an advisor to others looking to work or search for services in that area. This kind of startup is comparatively easy and fast to launch allowing you to gain some popularity in short time and making you a trusted person with qualitative services. For example, business or financial consultant, personal coach (fitness, extreme sports, golf, computers, etc). The same experience levels and requirements can be applied to the auditor. However, in this case, your startup may need additional licensed confirmation of the expected quality of services.
- Repair services. This idea is good in terms of fast coverage of target audience. Usually, repair services for a particular brand or thing are not widely represented across one city, that’s why good repair services can be counted on one hand and always have their regulars. For example, computer repair, engine repair, bicycle repair, etc. Another good thing here is that you can combine repair with some other services as a part of startup expansion. You may want to transform your bicycle workshop to storage, for example, to store regular customers’ bicycles over the winter while keeping them in perfect working condition. Then, you may want to create a small showroom to promote some of your custom repairs or something else.
- Event planning. Yeah, so simple. No one wants a boring event, right? And no one wants to spend endless nights on planning it and keeping all the stuff in mind. This is where you can be on the edge. Probably you should not try to cover all the possible events – just focus on one or two of them and when you succeed, expand your list of services. This will keep your existing customers motivated and help you to attract new people. Visit events of your customers, analyze the pros and cons, engage new business contacts. Start your internal database to hold all the past and upcoming events. This will allow you to easily find key parameters for each event and allocate necessary resources beforehand.
Now, it’s time to think about bad ideas.
Bad ideas in 90% of cases are derivative ideas, that is, associated with solutions that already exist on the market. As the only exception, a derivative idea may be successful just in case when it brings something new to the original (initial) idea. However, this must be a highly-demanded feature (or service) that has never been implemented yet.
Bad ideas can also be a result of limited strategic vision when your idea concept will not work under given conditions, e.g. bad location for a particular activity (like selling flip flops in Sweden) or too specific and narrow activity that will not cover a lot of people (like social network for project managers, East region, Ohio). Situations when you have a perfect idea, however, there are no people (especially programmers) who can implement it. You can spend some time to find them but there are chances that a startup will go hard even at the prototype stage.
As you can see, there is no common practice or a universal recipe to create a successful startup. An excellent idea is just a very beginning of this way. You should also keep in mind that many excellent ideas were dumb at the time of their conception: Google, Facebook, Twitter, iOS, PayPal (you can find the whole list on Quora), which means that only you, your startup team and your potential customers and users can judge how good (or not) is a particular idea. Zuckerberg was absolutely sure that his crazy idea of making conversations in a social network without having to meet with friends will blow minds of teenagers and students and he was right. But do you remember where he started from? Facemash – a variation of the “hot or not” game: a website that allowed to compare two student pictures side-by-side and select who was “hot” and who was “not”. Facemash was launched within the university campus, so everyone knew everyone and that worked like a self-promoting mechanism.
What was this all about? Try to think about your startup idea in simple terms and grab initial attention of potential customers. This will help you to adapt your product to their needs more smoothly and implement new features faster and with maximum reactions. Don’t hesitate to accept some constructive criticism and make some changes to the final product. And finally, never give up – first steps are always the hardest.