Startup Ideas

Top Resources on Startup Ideas

#1 How to Get and Evaluate Startup Ideas

How to Get and Evaluate Startup Ideas - Jared Friedman (opens in a new tab) (Video on YouTube)

Notes

Part 1: The four most common mistakes founders make with startup ideas

Four common mistakes:

  1. Not solving a real problem (solution in search of a problem)
  2. Getting stuck on a “tarpit idea” (very common ideas that have hidden structural reasons behind why they haven’t worked)
  3. Not evaluating an idea
  4. Waiting for the perfect idea

The ideal path:

  1. Fall in love with a problem

Part 2: How to know if your idea is good

10 key questions to ask about any startup idea

  1. Do you have founder/market fit? (Pick a good idea for your team)
  2. How big is the market? (Should be a big market or a small but quickly growing one)
  3. How acute is the problem?
  4. Do you have competition? (Most good startup ideas have competition)
  5. Do you want this?
  6. Did this recently become possible or necessary?
  7. Are there good proxies for this business? (A large company that does something similar but is not a direct competitor)
  8. Is this an idea you’d want to work on for years?
  9. Is this a scalable business?
  10. Is this a good idea space? (Fintech infrastructure and vertical SaaS have had high success rates but consumer hardware, social networks, and affect have not)

Three things that make your idea seem bad but actually make them good

  1. Ideas that are hard to get started
  2. Ideas in a boring space
  3. Ideas with existing competitors

Part 3: How to come up with new startup ideas

Three ways to put yourself in a position to have startup ideas, if you’re not imminently planning on starting a company:

  1. Become an expert on something valuable
  2. Work at a startup
  3. Build things you find interesting

7 recipes for generating startup ideas (in order of how likely they are to lead to actually good ideas):

  1. Start with ideas that your team is especially good at and then take advantage of your expertise
  2. Start with a problem you've personally encountered
  3. Think of things you personally wish existed
  4. Look for things in the world that have changed recently
  5. Look for new variants of successful companies
  6. Talk to people and ask what problems they have
  7. Look for big industries that seem broken

#2 How to Succeed with a Startup

How to Succeed with a Startup - Sam Altman (opens in a new tab) (Video on YouTube)

Notes

Most important ingredients:

  1. A product so good people tell friends
  2. A product that is easy to understand
  3. Exponential growth in market
  4. Real trends with obsessive usage

Founder qualities:

  1. Evangelical founder
  2. Ambitious vision
  3. Hard startup vs easy startup
  4. Confident and definite view of the future
  5. Huge if it works

Team qualities:

  1. Optimists
  2. Idea generators
  3. “We’ll figure it out”
  4. "I’ve got it"
  5. Bias for action
  6. The blessing of inexperience

Elements of Execution:

  1. Momentum
  2. Competitive advantage
  3. Sensible business model
  4. Distribution strategy
  5. Frugality, focus, obsession, love

Why startups win:

  1. One no vs one yes
  2. Fast-changing markets
  3. Platform shifts

#3 Where Do Great Startup Ideas Come From?

Where Do Great Startup Ideas Come From? - Dalton Caldwell and Michael Seibel (opens in a new tab) (Video on YouTube)

#4 Should You Follow Your Passion?

Should You Follow Your Passion? - Dalton Caldwell and Michael Seibel (opens in a new tab) (Video on YouTube)

#5 How to Start a Startup

How to Start a Startup - Paul Graham (Blog Post)

#6 How to Get Startup Ideas

How to Get Startup Ideas - Paul Graham (Blog Post)

#7 Ideas for Startups

Ideas for Startups - Paul Graham (Blog Post)

#8 Organic Startup Ideas

Organic Startup Ideas - Paul Graham (Blog Post)

Last updated on January 12, 2023