Have a startup idea? Great! But you’re not prepared
I recently met up with my brother. He has a certain idea for a business. He has an idea for his own startup. A great startup idea.
Juices. Selling juice in interesting locations, for busy passers-by, or also resting people nearby. Not going into too much detail, what exactly it’s supposed to be and how it works… in my whole talk with him, what interested me was his sense of certainty and self-confidence. And that, how he told me about his business with the sparkle ($$$) in the eyes.
Ah and what also interested me was where the whole self-confidence came from. He got it… from nowhere. Because really he had the startup idea (and already started to realize it bit by bit), but hadn’t even thought it through. Because he didn’t have time. More important was to start doing it.
The kind of attitude “I have an idea, a startup idea, I trust it; no need to think about it, no need to check it out; I know that it will work” sounds good. After all, no risk, no profit. So why then check if there is a point to something? Why analyze? After all, the idea is good. I can do it. It will be good, because… I just know it will.
It sounds great. I have a dream. I have faith. A feeling. A premonition. Trust. Call it what you want. It can even be a conviction of your own infallibility.
Besides, we saw so many great Hollywood movies about people who, against all odds, against the whole world… go out to achieve something and in the end, they finally achieve it. Though the idea seemed impossible to realize. After all, everything was doomed to fail. And yet… they succeeded, because In contrast to All, they believed in their own success. And that gave them strength.
Sure! But it’s pointless.
They only roll films of those who succeed. Of the few flukes, who weren’t necessarily wiser, more charismatic, cleverer than the rest. They simply had more luck. Muuuch more luck.
They don’t roll movies about all the multitudes of people who wanted to do the same. And who failed.
They don’t roll movies about those who on the way lost strength. And those who gave up realizing their ideas.
And unfortunately such were many more. And unfortunately… we have much more chance in becoming just one of those.
All these stories about people, who had a startup idea and just implemented it, against all that was around them — not checking even if the startup idea is worth converting into business — are just the beautiful romantics stories. They suitable for the trash. Or possibly for lame (or motivating) Hollywood movies. And just for that.
In business there’s no place for “I want it, so I’ll do it”. Here not checking your project before starting the whole implementation ends mostly in wasted money. And time.
Like Paul Graham said:
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.
Have a good startup idea? Great! But first prepare yourself
So do you want to sell juices? Get a move on into the city with a pen and a piece of paper. Sit down in one place where you want to sell your juices. And write down everything which comes to mind. Learn as much as you can about your buyer persona. How many people move about in the area? How many of these could be your customers? What kind of people are they? Are they holding anything to eat or drink in their hands? Will they be able to pay as much as you want to charge them? Will they have time to stop by and buy what you are selling? Is anyone else selling something similar in the area? Then go back home and think about it all properly. Better off right the next day. Do you still see any sense of setting up such a business? Are you in a position to earn? Yes? Then start to work. Start to build your business. Try to transform your startup idea into your business.
Do you want to start a web business? Do the same. Not only define functionalities or products which you want to create. Find out too, who will use it. When? How often? What for? And then based on that, think about it, if it’s at all worth it.
Cancelling projects, which don’t have a chance, is no shame. Shame is when you are trying to do something which didn’t have a chance of success since the beginning. Prepare yourself. Don’t just go with the flow.