Establishing the Startup Hypothesis First, the ideas of startups themselves are close to being worthless. Paul Graham wrote an incredible article on the face value of ideas for startups that take an economically analytical approach by saying, “Nothing is developing faster than markets. “A market for startup ideas leads to a lack of demand, which means, in the narrow sense of the word, that startup ideas are worthless.” Implementation is the basic value inherent in startup, not the idea itself, ideas change with market observations, focal points occur when opportunities are recognized and implemented, so in this article we will talk about establishing the startup hypothesis.
Establish the startup hypothesis
With this premise established, the ideas still serve a purpose, they provide starting points that serve as platforms for future hubs of emerging ideas.
The process of generating ideas in itself is a task of great use, regardless of the outcome, the thought processes and brain power used to invent something in which there was previously nothing, are wonderful exercises for one’s brain.
These methods and exercises will help in training one’s brain to come up with creative solutions to the endless waiting list of near-impossible problems that startups inevitably produce.
Before getting started, get a personalized list of ideas, it could be a mole leather notebook, $ 0.78 pocket notebook, or even a note on your iPhone.
Once you have your idea list, use it, whenever you have an idea for a startup, write it down.
And by not writing down the ideas, they will continue to influence every future idea you have.
By writing it down, you get it out of your head and free your neurons to focus on the next thought. Write down every thought you have, no matter how bad or unbelievable you think.
Ideas have a way to go full circle and some information missing from your initial idea may appear six months down the road.
Idea Generation Methods
With the right thinking and the right forum for keeping ideas at hand, test some of the following methods of generating ideas:
Watch a random TED Talk.
Watch a random interview with Mixergy.
Read business model creation, [3. The Design section specifically has some great tutorials on creating business models.)
Flip to a random page in your list of ideas
Look through the customer service sections of the websites and find out what people are complaining about.
Look at the ideas YCombinator wants to fund.
Ask yourself, “What kind of business would you like to run if there was no chance of failure at all?”
See something people are trying to do, and figure out how to do it not badly.
Paul Graham once said, “One of my tricks for generating startup ideas is to imagine the ways in which we will look backward to future generations.”
Ask the people you meet randomly about the biggest annoyances in their lives and jobs. (4. I especially enjoy doing it in the hair salon – they have to have the same boring conversation with every client so they are usually happy to mix things up.)
Look for new opportunities with the new changes that happen (Twitter, HackerNews, Quora, Google+, Mixergy, TED, and iTunesU are good sources of inspiration).
Take a quick look at the different Craigslist categories. Surprisingly, this might spark an idea for a startup. (5. The ‘gigs’ section might be particularly insightful because so many people are immediately looking for solutions.)
Ask yourself, “What has no one done before?”
Disassemble something and put it back together.
See where your important industries and markets are headed. (6. Mark Suster says, “Don’t ski where the disc is, because it will disappear by the time you get there. Ski to where the disc is heading.”)
See the most searched terms on Google and Amazon.
Stay up-to-date with your areas of interest as this will constantly trigger new ideas.
Think of ways to do things completely different from what we are doing right now – don’t worry about how – just find out how to improve them.
Discover the world around you. Change your surroundings. Visit new companies. Take a trip. Try new things.
Watch the Kevin Rose Foundation Series.
Take an inventory of your skills, interests, and resources to determine what you are qualified to do. (Also ask others about your skills and interests – you might be surprised by their responses.) (7. This is similar to a concept known as Impact which I plan to cover more deeply in the future.)
Look at your bank statement to see where your money is going. (Can you do any of these tasks better? Cheaper?)
Try some scientifically proven psychological creativity techniques.