Planting, sprouting, growing, and flourishing a startup idea…Part One

I get asked all the time, how the actual f did you start Quuu? It starts with planting…

This is my face…

Part One — Planting

When an idea strikes, you are best keeping it in mind otherwise you may lose it (which is possibly the most annoying thing in the world)

Well, maybe not the MOST annoying…

When thinking an idea over in my head, I play out how it would and could work to help develop that idea into a potential strategy going forward and if it’s something I would use myself (This is important!).

Luckily I can visualize stuff in my head pretty well, so thinking about how a user signs up, to how a user actually gets the value from the product (What we call the “Aha moment”) is pretty easy, which helps me explain the idea to others.

I can this process “Planting”.

An idea can occur at any time, some good, some bad, some illegal, so planting the idea is a great way to sift through the crap to only be left with the most plausible ones.

Making a believer out of others.

Yes, you can go it alone (I don’t recommend it) or you can bring on the best, a team, to help you believe and build your idea together. Having a team is by far the most crucial aspect of running a startup, it’s way too hard, stressful, arduous, strenuous, tiring, fatiguing, exhausting, wearying, back-breaking, gruelling, laborious (enough synonyms already) expensive and all-consuming to do it alone…so don’t do it!

Part of the planting process is coming up with an easy way to explain the idea to potential teammates/co-founders and potential customers.

Think of a one-sentence way of explaining the idea that does what it says on the tin.

Quuu was:

Hand curated content suggestions for social media.

After they spark some interest, it’s time to further explain the idea some more.

BUT!!!

It’s fine having a vision for the future, try not to drown out the value that the original idea had, focus on that one aspect of value (at least to start).

Now with Quuu, I didn’t do this, I went in all guns blazing when I was explaining my idea. I needed to strip my plans down to something more easily “launch-able”. This is where Matthew Spurr and Mubashar Iqbal came in. I explained the idea behind Quuu, after chatting it over with him for a few days and a little bit of luck, we came to the conclusion that we should build on Buffer.com seeing as they just switched off their content suggestions (That’s the luck right there). This made development much easier, and also meant we could concentrate on the true value of the idea, the content.

So you’ve planted the idea in your own mind, and a potential co-founder, so now it’s time to plant the idea into your potential customers’ heads.

An easy way to do this is by using Betalist.com or Product Hunt upcoming.

For Quuu, I threw together a landing page, submitted to Betalist, explaining the value of the idea and watched and waited. A week later, we had over 300 potential users to help further develop the idea.

Hopefully now, you’ll have a few hundred people that are interested in the value you could bring, you can start developing your relationship with them, tell them your plans, excite them and be responsive and open to feedback.

If you haven’t already, build it now, build the simplest possible version of your idea, one that simply provides the value you set out to give, nothing more, nothing less.

Insert overly used GIF here…

Introduce and invite your list to use the product, hopefully they’ll remember your brand name and are still excited to try it.

BE OPEN TO FEEDBACK, BOTH NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE.

Take what you can from your users, but don’t listen to everybody. You can’t add in every feature request any Tom, Dick or Harry suggests, but you can collate the ideas and start recognising patterns. It will become VERY clear what needs to change.

This leads us on to…Sprouting!


Part Two “Sprouting” coming soon!