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The Question Every Startup Founder Should Ask Themselves...

You spot a gap in the market, a habit or process you feel you can improve upon and then you come up with a great idea to build a new product or service.

Uber Logo

You speak to those closest to you and share your thoughts and look for some social validation that this could be the next big thing. Then off you go looking for someone to invest in your idea to help you build a product.

Sound familiar?

Well, before you go cap in hand, desperate to convince friends and family and maybe an investor(s) to hand over their hard-earned cash, take a step back!

Firstly, it's not that easy and secondly the startup graveyard is full of wannabee suiters. In fact, only 2 or 3 in every 1000 startups receive funding, according to Onevest. You see, most early stage startup founders I speak to seem to have all the best answers, latest stats and industry trends to back up their ideas. It's like they can find copious amounts of evidence to justify their beliefs. Then why do so many of them struggle to either raise investment or more importantly prove any kind of traction?

Unfortunately, in my experience, too many founders are walking around and spending what precious time they have, on solving for the wrong things and trying to build the perfect product. My advice is simple;

What's the simplest question all startup founders should be asking themselves, first(?)

  • If can solve (X) with (Y) would (Z) be willing to pay for it?

Once you have your answer to this question, It's now a race against time to validate your assumption(s) by building something you can test and sell as quickly as possible.

Here are a couple of examples, see if you recognise them;

  • "If I could build the biggest taxi firm in the world without buying a single car and at the same time provide a better, cheaper and more convenient way for people to get from A to B would customers use and pay for it over and over again?

  • If I could provide startups with money and advice in exchange for equity, would startup founders come to me with their ideas?

No.1 should be pretty obvious to most people, it's Uber. As for No.2 well that's for my business TechVentures

Point being... if you can distil your idea down to a set of simple questions and then go and test the market to get the answers, I'm confident not only will you have that validated learning required. You will hopefully have the traction you need to attract both the people and investment to scale your business.

Final thought! big ideas can be really simple, just don't spend all your time and money building the perfect product that ends up answering the wrong questions, is all I would say.

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