Are you picking a passion, or a mere interest?

passion

I've been talking to an increased number of people now with regards to their startup ideas. Will this work? What about this? Could you rank these five ideas? You know what? It really depends on you. Are you passionate about one of these ideas? If you are, then even if any expert or investor tells you your idea sucks, you've got a good chance of proving them wrong. Isn't this the story of so  many successful startups? Passion fuels great execution. And execution is everything. What is interesting is that one person's multiple ideas can encompass a wide variety of areas. While it is quite probable that you are interested in all these ideas, it is quite improbable that you are … [Read more...]

Pick your startup idea using the 3 circles

hedgehog

A long time ago, I read the bestselling book by Jim Collins, a book which a lot of you are probably familiar with, Good to Great. I have forgotten everything about the book except his 3 circles framework. Jim illustrates that for good companies to become great, they have to exist in the "sweet spot" of 3 overlapping circles. While the book was really made for large corporations, and used data mainly from large corporations, I realized how applicable the "3-circle" framework is for startups. I use this framework extensively in startup product development. My simplified version of the framework looks like this: So let's say you're deliberating on what startup idea you'd like to … [Read more...]

Start@Starbucks!

starbucks-hand

Start-bucks Coffee. My first startup, STORM Consulting, started as an idea in 2005, I talked about it with around 10 people - all potential co-owners I targeted - mostly in Starbucks. I then narrowed the field down from ten to two people and began building the foundation of the firm with my two new partners. A recent startup, StreamEngine, (site is still in beta) which is launching this January, started when I talked to potential partners - mostly in Starbucks (some in Seattle's Best). A chunk of my time now I'm currently using by  talking to different people regarding different ideas - all in coffee places and dining areas in the metro, 30-60 minutes each, mostly after … [Read more...]

7 WAYS TO ENSURE YOUR STARTUP IDEA DOESN’T SUCK, Part II

We're talking about tips on startup business ideas. This is part two, you can view part one here. 4) RESEARCH There are hardly any truly novel ideas anymore. That great idea you've always thought of? There's a great chance someone out there has done it. Don't fret, this is normal. In many cases, this actually means your idea has a market. Now, look deeper. Find out about how your competitor is doing it. How could you make the idea more remarkable?  What other gaps aren't being met? Two years ago, I thought about the idea of starting an executive search firm, partly because STORM, our HR technology firm, was always declining when we were asked by our clients if we did headhunting. A … [Read more...]

7 WAYS TO ENSURE YOUR STARTUP IDEA DOESN’T SUCK, Part 1

startup idea

Ok, while ideas ARE overrated, they are still important. Let's talk about the process of evaluating, and ultimately choosing, which startup idea to commit to. This will be a long one, so I will cut it up into 2-3 posts. Remember, the criteria I will be using here will be for startups, not necessarily for lifestyle or small businesses. For a small business, sometimes all it takes is a good franchise and a good location. It's a little more complicated for a startup with big dreams. Let's start with some career advice cliche. 1.Go after a passion It's cliche for a reason: its extremely important. A lot of entrepreneurs get into the game motivated by money, and that is fine. But it is only a … [Read more...]

Ideas Are Overrated

lightbulb-broke

A friend of mine who read the blog told me early today, "Okay, I'm sufficiently inspired, now put something concrete please! Tell me how I can start!" So where do we begin? The popular answer is that it starts with the idea. This explains why so many people have the excuse, "I'd start, but I still don't have that killer idea." Let me tell you a story. Around a year and a half ago, I was really inspired to start a UX (user experience) Consulting firm, seeing that more and more firms needed this service and that there wasn't any one firm catering to this need. So I poured myself in getting to know as much about UX as I can, and then I started talking to people who might be … [Read more...]

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