Evaluating Startup Ideas


Someone just asked me, I responded with the following in less than 2 minutes [possibly 1 minute]. What would you tell someone that asked how to evaluate his/her startup ideas?

Evaluating ideas — talk to people; tell them your idea; what problem does it solve. Great if it solves a problem you personally have — because then you know a need exists [if you didn’t find a solution already in all your research]. Start small and ugly. Don’t go into debt — 1 in 100 ideas that are executed actually become something. [I made that number up, but it’s close enough — don’t gamble everything you have; the idea is to get other people involved so you have less risk… if others put money up, or will buy your thing, or use it, then you know you have something]. Stick away from pitching friends — they’ll likely nod their head, think you’re crazy, but won’t tell you because they don’t want to hurt your feelings or burn out your enthusiasm/passion that you obviously have for whatever you’re pitching them.