Bad Startup Ideas Published Sun Jul 12 08:00:00 SAST 2015
Every budding entrepreneur has to get some bad ideas out of their system before they move on to real-world problem-solving. Three ideas I considered as a student and am pitched on most often are:
- A local events listing site
- A reservation system for hotels, restaurants, barbers or taxis
- A classifieds/auction platform, often for text books
These are all different types of local services marketplaces with various chicken/egg barriers to entry. It's not that they are inherently bad concepts, but trying to out-compete OpenTable, Craigslist, Gumtree or Uber on your first try probably is.
You are not your startup. The faster you can disentangle your idea from your ego, the faster you will be able to iterate on better ideas to build a painkiller instead of a vitamin.
Kind of. Tell people what you're doing, but do it first. The main reason for not talking about your startup is because sharing goals makes you less likely to accomplish them. And if your idea is any good, it is likely to seem bad.
“Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.” — Howard Aiken
Some ways to test good ideas:
- Talk to customers instead of friends or family
- Design a hypothesis to prove or disprove your idea as cheaply as possible
- Put something out there and measure the response
Others have written about good ideas, but I will say something about excellence in product design:
Thinking hurts. Great products start where others stop thinking.
Product visionaries seem that way because they have thought harder about a problem than anyone before them.
Don't worry if your first idea sucks. It's a stepping stone to more and better ideas.