Indicators that a startup idea is a good one

I just read this post written by Nic Brisbourne in his blog It’s about how to know if your idea is a good idea or a bad one. This post is a summary of Paul Graham essay “How to Get Startup Ideas”. Below I quote the full post (I took Nic permission already), but I highly advice you to follow both Nic blog and Paul Graham’s essays.

I always enjoy reading Paul Graham’s essays and his latest one How to get startup ideas is another great read. If you are an entrepreneur looking for ideas then I highly recommend you read the whole thing, particularly taking note of the common errors (building for a problem nobody has and trying too hard to come up with startup ideas).

I’m going to focus on one of the by-products of Paul’s essay which is a list of indicators that an idea might be good or an idea might be bad. Note that none of these are definitive evidence, they are simply signs. There will be great startups with some of the indicators of a bad idea and bad startups with some of the indicators of a good idea, but on balance good startups will have more of the good indicators and fewer of the bad ones.

Indicators of a good idea

  • It is something the founders want
  • The founders can build it
  • Few people realise it is worth doing
  • A small number of people really want it, right now, even if it’s a crappy version
  • It is on the leading edge
  • Looking back from the future the idea will seem obvious
  • The idea came because a problem was noticed, rather than because it was thought up

Indicators of a bad idea

  • Lots of people want it a little bit, but nobody wants it a lot
  • Lots of people want it a lot – if this is true someone would have built it already
  • Is in a domain the founders don’t know well”


Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. “The founders can build it”

    This is difficult man. Unless some of us who are not so tech-savvy can partner with similar minded founders who cover the technology side?

    Great post and source material, thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: