As mentioned before, we strongly believe ideas are not worthless and you should use time and energy to truly assess, ponder and improve your idea.
Here’s a quick checklist you can use to see if your idea has what it takes to make it fly.
- Is your idea market, tech or skills-driven?
- If market – how well do you know the market?
- If tech – how well do you know the tech?
- If skills – what are your strengths?
- If all of the above – list all the pros
- How long have you worked or researched in your domain? Could you give a one-hour presentation about the domain?
- How well do you know the customer problem? How many potential users/customers have you talked to?
- What is the size of the market? What is the growth of the market?
- What is the external wave you’re riding on?
- What is the level of global competition? Can you name your main competitors and their strengths and weaknesses?
- How are you planning to differentiate?
- What are the strengths of your idea? And what are the flaws?
- Do you have a good founder/idea fit?
- Does your team have the relevant skills required for the idea? If not, what skills should you acquire?
- Are you and your team members willing to use the next 5–10 years to work with this idea?
- Do you have a strong mission that helps you attract talent and recruit co-founders and team members?
We are looking for strengths, not flaws
The things listed in the checklist above can help you evaluate all aspects of your idea and hopefully it offers you some perspective on all the things you should consider before hopping on the founder merry-go-round.
However, especially at the idea stage, all companies have tons of flaws. But as an investor, we’re not looking for flaws – every company we have ever invested in has had their flaws, more often more than one. We are interested in your strengths.
As Lady Gaga puts it,
I’ve got one hundred million reasons to walk away,
But baby I just need one good one to stay.
The outliers most often have at least one, exceptional strength, or secret sauce, or superpower – whatever you want to call it. If that’s in place, we can help you fix the rest.
This is the last part of the Icebreaker idea assessment guide. Thanks for reading. The previous parts published in this series are: