How To Evaluate Business Ideas [Letter#19]

Hi there!

How can we come up with business ideas? And more importantly how do we know if a given idea is a good one?

In order to come up with business ideas, we can pay attention to what's missing? What do you need that doesn't exist? What would you pay for right now if it existed? But evaluating whether an idea is a good one is much harder (notice I didn't say 'validating' because that turns out to be a problematical word). You can't just ask others "what do you think of my idea?" or "if I made this would you use it?" or "would you pay for this?".

I'd plan to write about evaluating business idea and to share the story of my first "startup" idea. Turns out, these are not good questions to contemplate in the midst of a winter storm causing power and water outages. Loss of electricity implies no lights yes, but also no heat, no use of the Internet or kitchen appliances. Loss of running water is much worse if you think about all the things we use water for since waking up in the morning. So yeah all of my ideas are around basic utilities at the moment.

If you are affected by the unprecedented frigid temperatures combined with utility outages, I'm with you! (we've been without either power and/or water all of this week). I'm a bit preoccupied so I'll keep this one short. More on evaluating business ideas next week. In the meantime, here are the original sources I consumed this week:

How to Get Startup Ideas - Paul Graham essay from 2012

Smallest Viable Audience and Being on the Hook - Seth Godin's interview about his book The Practice

I've extracted main message from the above as well as my own insights. I look forward to sharing that writing and all my thoughts on this topic on finding and evaluating business ideas once life is more stable.

One last thing, for my February recording habit I've been reading out loud business essays so I have audio-essays to refer back to, such as this one about finding startup ideas. You can find rest of the (unedited) recordings on The Leaf Node channel.

Until next time,


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