Posts Tagged ‘Startups’|
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
There are two categories of people looking to start a business: those who have an idea and want to build it, and those who want to build something but haven’t found the right idea yet.
Each category has different challenges, but in this post I will focus on the latter. Where can you find a good idea? From my personal experience, good ideas are the result of good observation. We are often too busy working or doing something else to take a step back and look at how we execute the things that we do. If you take the time to try to observe yourself from the outside, you will probably find many inefficiencies in your execution. You will also notice that most of those inefficiencies come from the tools that you use.
Offline shopping, for instance, is very inefficient. You have to drive to a store, walk through the isles, choose from a limited-by-space amount of products, stand in line at the cashier and then drive back home. Looking at shopping from an efficiency point of view, it’s easy to see how Amazon (like other e-commerce sites) are a great idea.
SyncPad itself was born this way. Since expressing design changes over the phone or Skype was challenging, and emailing drafts and changes back and forth was a waste of time, I came up with a tool that could solve these inefficiencies. With SyncPad, I can now quickly share a sketch or an image while I’m on the phone, and the other person can work on it in real-time.
Of course isolating an inefficiency is only the beginning. Once you focus on a problem, the second factor you need to analyze is its potential market and value. Is this a problem that only you and a few others have, or is it common to billions of people? Dropbox is a great example of a product that solves a very common inefficiency: the need to easily access your data and documents from different places. Your need for a better tool to catalog your collection of Coke cans may not be as common. The size of the market itself is meaningless if it’s not associated with the value of your solution. If you can charge hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for your product, it’s ok if your market size is in the four digit range.
So start looking around for inefficiencies. Once you find one, try to understand how big the possible market would be for a solution to that inefficiency. Lastly, start talking to your potential customers to get an idea of the value of that solution.
Monday, December 5th, 2011
One of the first questions people ask me when I talk about SyncPad is “did you guys raise money?” Now, while I’m not against raising money at the right time if needed, I find it sad that there’s a constant association between building a startup and raising VC/angel money. The beauty of today’s technologies is that you can build a profitable product with very little money. Thanks to things like cloud computing, low bandwidth costs, tons of freely available knowledge, people can build businesses investing just time and few thousands dollars. You don’t even have to quit your job to start a business if you don’t have savings/credit and you are really passionate about what your are building.
I found this video on the Kauffman Foundation website, and I found it very interesting. I highly recommend watching it.
Friday, November 25th, 2011
This is a very rare footage of Steve Jobs during the early days of NeXT. What I find very fascinating is to see Jobs dealing with the same problems we startup entrepreneurs struggle every day. It is comforting to see that even what his considered to be the greatest entrepreneur of our age is hustling in order to meet impossible deadlines and pinch and scrape in order to lower their burn rate just like every other startup.
Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
I must admit, some of the heads are kinda creepy, but overall this is a great collection of quotes for entrepreneurs. More at http://StartupQuote.com →
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
Lately I’ve been pretty busy, especially thanks to FOWA and the upcoming SXSW, and my RSS reader is literally exploding; so I had to dive in for a little bit and I came back up with these seven pearls. If you are (or you want to be) an entrepreneur, you will learn a lot from these article:
- Customer Development for Web Startups
- Entrepreneurship, It’s Personal
- How to Save Money During the Early Days of a Startup
- The Entrepreneur Thesis
- Angels vs. Venture Capitalists
- Two different discussions about exits
- How to raise money without lying to investors
Do you have any article you would like to share about entrepreneurship? Post it in the comments!