One of the big questions for early stage entrepreneurs is “how do I choose the right idea to work on?”. Given that not all ideas are equal, it’s worth taking the time to get this decision right – which is why we made this guide.
The biggest determining factors of success amongst founders are:
1) the perseverance of the founders.
2) the potential size of the market for their idea
Believe it or not, these factors are even more reliable predictors of success than the pedigree of the founding team and the amount of funding those founders receive.
And both of those factors are massively related to the idea the founders chose to create.
Ultimately, if you have a business built upon an idea which fits your personal purpose and aspirations in life, you'll be way more likely stick with that business through thick and thin. You'll live off ramen noodles and risk embarrassment, sacrifice weekends and put your own money into it... you'll persevere with it.
You'll attract people to you who also feel that the idea behind the business resonates with their aspirations and values. Meaning they'll be willing to go "above and beyond" too. Your customers will feel the authenticity of what you're doing, and be more forgiving of you as a result, more likely to support you and buy from you.
And, best of all... when it's all going well, you get to do something you love doing and is truly fulfilling.
So... to choose your idea worthy of turning into a reality, you need to weight it against your personal aspirations, likes and dislikes. Once you've chosen an idea, you then need to think big, get excited and paint a vision of how it will look in it's matured and most fantastic form – so that you avoid "iterating" and instead aim to create something truly remarkable for your first fans.
Idea and execution are not independent of each other. A good idea – one that’s in sync with the founding team’s personal aspirations and values – massively impacts their perseverance, excitement and fulfilment. So, this assignment asks you to weigh your ideas from Assignment II against your written aspirations from Assignment I. And to identify one idea that stands out. Because that will be the idea that forms the strongest foundation for your upcoming startup journey.
Does that idea you wrote down on the previous page really make you come alive on the inside? Does it inspire you, scare you even? Are you willing to sacrifice to make it a successful business? Be honest with yourself.
That worksheet was all about making sure you choose the idea that’s most synced with your “why”. If none of the ideas you’ve had fit your why well enough, then keep ideating. Do not try and start a business that doesn’t fit your why.
This brief Ted talk from Seth Godin introduces the importance of creating movements by finding "your tribe", a group of people with a common problem looking for someone to lead them and represent them. With the internet-connected state of our world, it's easier than ever to find your tribe for the problems you want to address – making his "Tribes" perspective more relevant than ever:
With your chosen idea, the idea that reverberates deep within you and is worth turning into a reality, it’s worth getting excited about what you’re creating before diving into the technicalities. Imagining something truly amazing that your tribe of users will love – will get your potential tribe of users excited about what you’re building and will make you stand out from the hundreds of new ideas being launched every day. Not to mention it’ll inspire you too!
think about what it does, it's primary features, and whether it's exciting to you…
is there an underlying purpose or bigger vision behind your idea? (hint: there always is)
when you launch your idea, who are the people with whom your purpose, story and product will truly resonate with. As Seth Godin rightly says, Tribes are the most powerful way to create movements and realise new concepts.
Can you imagine your solution as being 10x better than anything else out there? Don’t worry about it being realistic; worry about going from Zero to One.
Imagining something your tribe will love is a massive step. Even if it’s not something you can feasibly create in the foreseeable future – it’s something to aim for, something to excite people and yourself with, and something from which you can begin building more feasible versions right now.