Here is a way to test if your startup’s idea/product is viable:
- can you describe it one very short and succinct sentence?
- can you describe the value it provides users/society in one very short succinct sentence?
- stripped of all fluff (bells, whistles, and whiz-bang things that are purely there for marketing purposes) is it still valuable?
- stripped of all fluff can you differentiate it from competitors? (again, in a very short, succinct sentence)
I am a believer in minimum viable product (MVP). Valuable ideas and or products can express themselves in minimal viable product form. Others can not. And that is it’s essence.
I have heard the argument that minimal products can not compete because, in general, the bar has been raised too high for web applications. The argument against MVP follows that a product must have polish to be successful. Yes, a product must have polish to be widely accepted, but what we are searching for is merely a viable product. This is the proof that it provides value. Therefore, don’t waste your time trying to build the Taj Mahal because you may very well just be putting lipstick on a pig.
Far too often people go about creating a startup simply because they want to create a startup, not because they actually think they have an idea that is viable. Now, I don’t actually have anything against this approach, and in fact, I encourage it if you have the time and have nothing to lose. However, do it to learn how to create a startup, not because you think you will become the next Mark Zuckerberg. And here is the formula:
- throw something against the wall
- see if it sticks
- goto 1