Question :
I’ve found a gap in the market, researched an idea for a new business, identified the pain points it addresses, found a platform to distribute the material, and started researching who my customers are and what my business model options might be…But I’m an ideas person, not an implementation person, and I’m running out of steam. What do I do next? Do I need co-founders? Or investors? Where do I turn to find the people who complement my abilities and can really make this idea fly?

Question submitted 18/06/20 @ 05:47am
Industry: Start-ups
  • Up

    Morning – good on you. When we start a business, often when we have not done it before, we end up doing a bunch of things that we are not expert in – that is pretty fun when you think about it, yes it can be super hard, but you are learning a bunch which is pretty epic. Here are a couple thoughts to keep in mind:
    – doing a startup is really an iterative game, and it is not linear, you just need to think about ‘where do I need to get to for my next sprint’ ie what are the tasks I must do, and ‘what are the questions I need to find answers too ie what are the issues I need to get clarity on
    – having the ‘skills’ in the team beyond ‘you’ is really important, a sole founder is super super hard (see below)
    – what really does matter is understanding the needs and wants of your target market, your potential customers, living and breathing their needs, and iterating around them, confirming your hypothesis that they actually want this and will pay for it – this is what really matters, not assuming or you assuming they will want it, but they actually want it
    – when thinking about your ‘team’ and ‘your co-founders’ – often we think about the ‘hacker’ the ‘hipster’ and the ‘designer’ – the ideal team is someone who is the technical person who builds the product, then there is the designer who thinks about the engagement with the customers and then there is the sales and marketing person who gets the customers – ideally, when doing a startup you go into business with people who have these skills and you also know them well, because when it gets tough, it helps to have personal relationships to rely on and draw from

    How to solve for the ‘running out of steam’ – find others who want to join with you on your mission? Draw up a nice pitch deck of a few slides (google what goes into a pitch deck) that talks about the vision you have and your core hypothesis for the market, then talk to some people who you think would compliment your skills and see if you can convince them to join you, even as a side hustle while they have income from their other job – then be open to sharing their thoughts with yours, this should help with your energy levels. I hope!

    What will make this idea fly? resonance with the market, and your target customers – that is all that matters.

    One other thing – google ‘how do I validate my market’ – and/or read books like Zero to One from Peter Thiel or Dr Rob Adams of If you Build it Will They Come – this first piece of validating your market is super important.

    Good luck!


    Hey Ollie – I just read this blog this morning, really good advice and tips in it – https://medium.com/swlh/13-insights-from-y-combinator-that-every-founder-needs-to-know-ffc4be002e4c

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