Join Brad Feld for an in-depth discussion in this video Criteria for an opportunity, part of Brad Feld on Validating Your Startup Idea.
- When you're thinking about creating a new company, there are a number of different ways to approach it around the criteria of the opportunity that you're going to come up with. The magic trick, though, is not necessarily to systematically go through a series of criteria and check boxes and try to organize your thinking, but instead to really focus on something that you were put on this planet to do. The mistake that so many people make when they're starting up their first company or trying to come up with an idea for a company is they get focused on just trying to create the company, and the idea of having a company, rather than focusing on this opportunity that is one you want to spend all your time working on.
The challenge of starting a new business is that it's incredibly intense. It requires all of your focus for an extended period of time. It's going to have lots of ups and downs along the way, and as a result, this notion of being obsessed about the opportunity that you're working on is key. And I used the phrase earlier, being put on this planet to work on this opportunity. It may not be the only thing you ever do in your life. Some entrepreneurs spend their entire life working on one company, but that's the exception, not the norm. Most entrepreneurs end up working on multiple things throughout the course of their experience, but when you're first getting started you want to work on something that is so important to you that you literally can't quit thinking about it.
It's something that every morning when you wake up, it's what you want to spend your time on, and at the end of the day when you finish, you still want to be thinking about it even as you're going to bed. And if the opportunity that you're playing around with doesn't capture you that way, you should step back from it and really evaluate whether it's the thing that you want to spend your time on or not. If it does capture you that way, then you should go for it.
- Assessing the opportunity costs and risks
- Validating your idea
- Evaluating your customer's problem
- Evaluating your product
- Evaluating your market
- Evaluating your people