The first step to build a successful startup is to find the idea for a product or service that you will use to build your business around. The idea generation is a strategic process and rather than just following you gut, if you follow the process, you can maximize your chances of success. It involves 5 steps; let’s take a look.
- Identify what you like to do and what you are great at
The first step is identify what you like to do and what you are passionate about. Everybody is good at something. Don’t say that you are passionate about making money. It can be something you like to do whenever ever you get an opportunity even for free or for fun. This requires some introspection and review of your achievements and failures. Think about the situations where you have had your highest level of energy. Pen down your thoughts, make a list, talk to your friends and family and talk to yourself.
2. Think about the market
All right, so you have prepared your list. Now go through your list items one by one. Think what problems you can solve by commercializing your idea. This is time taking and needs some research. Please do not depend on Google alone for your research however you can get loads of meaningful information from Google. Think about your target audience and reach out to people. Talk to people who represent your target customers. Interview strangers and try to empathize their pains. Remember, almost every problem can be solved locally. At this point don’t worry about the competition. Doesn’t matter how unique you think your idea is, somebody, somewhere in the world must have already thought about it. The success of business doesn’t depend on the idea but on execution. Last but not the least, do talk to experts and influencers who operated in the same or related business. Try to get an early feedback and then evolve.
3. Print the canvas
Take a print of Business Model Canvas (thanks to Alexander Osterwalder) and start filling all the sections. Paint the canvas blue and red till you are satisfied that you have completed all the sections. The B-Model canvas forces you to think about all the important element of a business such as your Customer Segments, Value Propositions, Key Business Activities, Partners, Distribution Channels, Key Resources, Cost Structure and Revenue Stream.
Right items that are supported by data and research in blue and items based on gut feeling in Blue. Keep on iterating and saving the versions till all red items convert into blue. Every version backed by new data and new research. Once you are reasonably satisfied with your B-Model canvas, you are ready with your big idea.
Finding your big idea is just the first step to creating a startup. Now you are ready with an idea that you can pitch to potential partners, advisors, investors and even early adopter customers. All the best for your startup.