How to Generate Business Ideas

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Information about How to Generate Business Ideas
Business & Mgmt

Published on March 5, 2014

Author: MikeFishbein


Description to learn more

This presentation covers how to identify customer demands, how to test and validate demand, and more

How to Generate Business Ideas Mike Fishbein,

About Me Founder of Startup College Author of Customer Development for Entrepreneurs Featured in Huffington Post,, and more Previously venture studio and corporate innovation

Job of an Entrepreneur Serve customers by solving a problem or delivering value In a free market, entrepreneurs who don’t serve customers fail To execute, an entrepreneur must identify customer demands and how to meet them

Problems and Inefficient Processes “The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It's to look for problems…” - Paul Graham

How to Identify Demand 1. Scratch Your Own Itch 2. Interview Customers 3. Meet Known Needs 4. Do What’s Working

1. Scratch Your Own Itch “Why is it so important to work on a problem you have? Among other things, it ensures the problem really exists. It sounds obvious to say you should only work on problems that exist. And yet by far the most common mistake startups make is to solve problems no one has.” – Paul Graham, YCombinator

How to Scratch Your Own Itch What unmet needs do you have? What challenges do you face throughout the day? What product do you wish you had? Make sure you’re not the only one...

2. Customer Development Interviews a. Pick a customer segment Based on your relationships, access, propensity to buy, passion b. Ask them what their problems are What’s the hardest part of your day? What unmet needs do you have?

3. Meet Known Needs “Great companies do 1+ of 3 things: Get you laid, get you paid, get you made” Dave McClure, 500 Startups

Examples Paid = Salesforce, banks, Airbnb Made = Twitter, college Laid = Cars, Clothes, Tinder Transportation = Uber Surviving = Food Save Time = Buffer Entertainment = Movies

4. Do What’s Working “At a time when so many internet entrepreneurs are running around Silicon Valley trying to do something no one else has ever done, [Evan] Williams believes that the real trick is to find something that's tried and true” - Twitter co-founder via Wired

4 Second Mover Advantages Validated customer demand Customer acquisition strategy Increased awareness Observe product management and marketing

Examples of Second Movers Facebook Simple 5 Hour Energy Ecommerce Social media consultants

How to Test Business Ideas “I have an what?”

3 Key Questions Is there demand for this? Would supplying this lead to $$? Am I suited to supply this?

Does anyone want this? Customer development interviews to test hypotheses Pre-sales to validate demand Minimum viable product to get fast feedback

How can I make money? Is this a big enough problem that people will pay you? Is the market big enough to meet your goals? How strong is the competition?

Am I qualified? Do you have a competitive advantage? Do you have the skillsets required? (marketing, sales, management, etc.) Do you have the relationships (customers, partners, etc.) Do you have the capital or access to capital? Are you passionate enough to run this business for years?

Key Takeaways Solve problems, deliver value Gain customer insights to identify demands Practice customer development to minimize the risk of spending a bunch of time and money on something no one wants

To learn more... ...check out Startup College

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