5 Major Mistakes While Generating Ideas For Your Startup

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Failure is not something that happens on the way to building your startup. Sometimes mistakes occur as early as the idea stage. Here are 5 you should definitely avoid!

Many startups fail in early stages. The reason why this happens is often a wrong thinking about the business process. Thinking implicates acting; wrong thinking equals wrong acting. That’s why correct thinking is the first step to a successful startup. We’ve listed 5 common mistakes while generating an idea for your company. Always keep them in mind!

#1 Focusing On An Idea Not On A Problem

Two guys are sitting in the basement and talking about their new venture.

Mr. I know: My mom always complains that she has no time to meet her friends. What can we do about this fact?
Mr. I know better: Silly question. Let’s make an app.
Mr. I know: Sounds great. She’s gonna have an opportunity to find the nearest friend and talk with him or her via our innovative messenger.
Mr. I know better: And it will be free for everyone!
Mr. I know: Thanks to our mothers we will be billionaires!

The main issue in this case is that there’s no word about the issue . Mothers often do not have enough time to socialize. If they would have an app, will they have more time? No. Of course they can talk online. However every social network only exists because of contacts made in real life. So the right question is not, how can we connect mothers with their friends, but how can we give them more time.

#2 Reality Perception Filters

We all see the world, we want to see. This is psychological. When you get an idea, you treat it like your own child. You observe reality, connect facts and create a solution. It is something brand new. It is yours. You are a creator. You change reality and it’s awesome. But you also filter. You think your idea is the best and has no defects. Besides, people who like you rarely want to criticize your ideas, which is even worse, because you follow your flawless path. And in the end there is only disappointment.

Companies, that have been successful, accept criticism. Did you experience a situation, when you called a company, because you have some problem which should be solved rapidly? For example you can’t find information about delivery time. You advise that this information should be more visible. And then you hear: “Well, you know Sir, there is everything clearly written. You have to click “waste of time button” then go to “waste of time subpage” and there you have it, black on white.”

This may occur, when you’re so in love with your idea that you cannot accept criticism. Isai Scheinberg, the creator of Pokerstars.com was spending a lot of time in forums where players were critisizing wrong solutions, reporting bugs and sharing ideas. They achieved a great success, as they listened to their clients.

#3 Fear About Idea Stealers

This idea is worth billion of dollars, so you can’t tell about anybody it, even under torture. We’re going to develop it quietly far away from the civilization, preferably in the jungle, where no one can steal my idea.

That’s again bad reality filter. Most ideas are not brand new. Actually, there are probably five teams in the world working on the same project. Of course, if the solution does not yet exist. Being afraid of stealing ideas gives you less chance for success. You don’t share the idea, the idea can’t grow. You don’t meet potential co-founders. Finally you don’t know what the market opinion is and it’s a total disaster. With an idea alone you can’t buy anything. The execution of the idea is that what really matters. There were a few social network sites before Facebook and a few video content sites before YouTube, but nobody heard about them. There is one more thing that really matters besides execution. Timing.

#4 Too Early Ideas

Those who have this kinds of ideas are visionaries. They can predict trends that will come up in the future and implement them today. If you are one of these people, you belong to 1% of lucky people. Unfortunately their visions often fail. Why? Because people are not ready for their solutions just yet. Today their ideas look too weird to be a global success. This is timing in startups. Mysterious knowledge about when something is going to work. If you’re interested in that topic, watch Bill Gross with his short presentation on TED.

#5 You Don’t Want It, Don’t Know How To Do It, People Don’t Want It.

Inversely. You have to want it. You must know how to do it. People must want it likewise. These are words of Paul Graham‘s (co-founder of Y-combinator). And it’s all true. If even one of three sentences is evaluated at false, you will fail.



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