How to identify entrepreneurial opportunities for start up business by Seth Epstein of Social Stay
Seth reduces the overhead associated with his idea creation process by quickly completing the following worksheet.
1. The Idea – brief description
2. Problem Solved – what is broken that the idea fixes?
3. Who Has This Problem? – market size, characteristics, just me?
4. How Resolved? – is the resolution economical, practical, technologically feasible?
5. Business Model – how can I make money solving this problem for the identified audience? How much money can I make?
6. Competition – which competitors will prove to be the most formidable? What potential competitors might arise – can they be converted to partners? NOTE: competitors validate your idea, if you lose heart after one Google search, you are not sufficiently passionate about the idea.
7. Differentiation – what color are my elephant’s sunglasses, how I will beat the competition? To what extent are the points of differentiation sustainable?
8. Challenges – what potential pitfalls that could cause the idea to fail?
9. Resources – what contacts, capital, facilities and other assets will be required to execute the idea?
10. Fit – do I have the appropriate skills and passion to successfully execute this idea?
Modify this checklist to suit your personal style and the specific nature of your ideas. The key is to document and challenge the veracity of your ideas at the time they occur to you. The format you settle upon is of little consequence, as long as it allows you to quickly and contemporaneously capture the essence of your epiphanies.
Documenting ideas in real time is an effective, disciplined approach to sorting great ideas from lame ones. The worksheets also serve as library which you can build upon and interchange ideas.
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