Listen to… learn about an empire founded on poo, get structured feedback on new products and evaluate ideas VC style…
Back to school
Y Combinator’s startup school kicked off on 22nd July and they’re putting out all the lessons as podcasts / videos over here. Whether you’re taking part or not.
If you do want to join, registration is still open until 4th August (and it’s free).
Back to the podcast… this is the first of the lessons and Kevin Hale walks through the process of evaluating ideas and how founders, who are looking for VC funding, should think about startups.
Interesting to hear ideas talked about from the perspective of what an investor is looking for. And don’t dismiss the episode because you’re not looking for funding – it offers a different perspective on whether you’ve got an idea that has a chance of working.
- An idea is a hypothesis about why a company could grow quickly and has 3 parts – a problem, a solution and an insight.
- Great problems are… popular, growing, need solving frequently, urgent and expensive to solve. Even better if they are mandatory from regulation.
- Insight is the unfair advantage. For example:
- You are one of the only people in the world who can solve this
- Market is growing at 20% per year
- Product is 10x better than competition
- Acquisition model can’t only be paid – should also include free (word of mouth)
- Is a monopoly – the bigger it gets the harder it is to defeat.
Smell of success
You’ve probably seen a viral ad from Poo~Pourri and thought, “funny video, can’t be a real product though…?”
Except it’s a now $500M business.
That’s a lot of scented oil.
Some different thinking on how a company runs in this interview with Suzy Batiz on I Love Marketing.
- Suzy’s difficult childhood and failed businesses has developed a “figure it out” muscle. It’s a trait she looks for in others and trains her team to develop
- Remember that those 10,000 hours aren’t 10,000 hours of success. It’s not only ok to fail, it’s important for learning and gaining experience. Suzy tells her team they just have to win more times than they fail.
- Great ideas are alive. They’ll keep coming up over and over when they’re ready for sharing with the world.
Short podcast from Scale or Die with a framework for getting new product feedback from an audience.
So if you’re thinking about an idea, get on your video call software of choice and start asking questions.
- Record the calls (with permission) so that you can transcribe for easy reference in the future.
- The structure of the questions will give you a ton of useful info out of a 45min call. It’s split into 3 sections – Background, Existing Workflow and Presenting Your Idea.
- Keep the transcriptions, videos and notes all in one place (eg Notion) and make sure they’re available to the team. Nobody should be voicing opinions in the product development – decision-making is with data from feedback calls.