Build from your core expertise.

Ideas come from a lot of places. Many of the best ideas come from domain experts.

For example, you’ve been in an oil company doing reservoir simulations for years, and you realize that there’s a much smarter way to do this but they won’t listen.

Big companies get complacent; they’re scared of change. Therefore, they move slow and they reject innovation.

Not only that, but you keep hearing customers say that they would kill to have an improved option, so you found a company to execute the smarter solution.

Ding, ding, ding.

That’s the ultimate company; you know there’s a better way and you know there are customers for it.

Focus on customer pain.

Sometimes, founders come up with their own great ideas and then try to project those ideas onto customers.

I prefer the opposite approach.

I like to interview customers and find out what their problems are. In particular, I really focus on what I call “customer pain.”

Where are customers, or big groups of customers, feeling pain? How high a priority would it be for them to find a solution?

Only when I find something really high-priority do I try figuring out a solution to that pain point.

Find something nobody else can do.

Selection is critical.

When you launch a venture, you have to be comfortable with the idea that this is what you’re going to do for the rest of your professional life.

It has to be awesome; it has to be ten times better than anything in the marketplace. You should right that down, the 10x advantage is such an important factor.

Please don’t make a sh*tty product; there’s enough of these on the market. We don’t need more. If your product sucks, make it better or go behind the barn and shoot it right in the head. Cut your losses before you’re too deep.

Also, it can’t just be better because nobody is doing it currently. There will be competition, I promise you.

It has to be something that nobody other than you can do, especially once you’re up to scale.


Chase Dittmer is a highly-regarded executive in the marketing industry and has developed and managed numerous creative marketing campaigns with an emphasis on communication, public relations, brand architecture, design and social media. Chase Dittmer’s passions include: social entrepreneurship, technology, innovation, and marketing. Talk to chase, here.

Originally shared on CBD Digital’s entrepreneurship hub.

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