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How to build a billion dollar startup

How to find a business idea?

Step 1. Decide on the criteria

In order to have a good business idea, you need to understand what exactly “good” means to you. Start by selecting criteria according to your interests, abilities, ambitions, needs, and goals. Business will take time, and time should be devoted to what is really interesting and what you have a penchant for.

As for market criteria, the key for a startup is the presence of a large market and the ability to manage scaling with a constant increase in business value.

Step 2. Start journaling ideas

Regularly write down the ideas that come to you and review this list periodically. To find one good idea, you need to find many different ones and set your brain to constantly look for opportunities. It is a search, not an invention.

Step 3. Purposefully engage in the search for an idea

Here are some of the most common methods for finding ideas:

● Face a problem and find a solution. Very often, a business idea comes at the moment of a collision with a problem. Moreover, the more urgent the problem, the more and willingly people are willing to pay for its solution. In the implementation of this method, it will be useful to conduct problem interviews (see the chapter “How to conduct castdev?”).

● Find, copy or adapt. You can find an already existing development or business model and present it to the market. The idea can be taken, for example, from another geographic market or from another industry. Analyze the markets of Western Europe and America. It is important to pick up dozens, and preferably hundreds of Western examples. Read Techcrunch, see where funds are investing, follow the ratings of successful startups (for example, Inc. 5000), visit targeted exhibitions, communicate.

● “Transform” your employment into a business.

● Turn your hobby or skill into a business.

● Recognize an important trend. A good business idea can come from understanding some key trends (technological, demographic, political, etc.).

● Commercialize your developments. A business idea can be found by adding commerce to your existing developments, including scientific ones. At the same time, it is important to understand that for any technology, you can find different areas of application, and any need can be realized using different technologies. Try to look for something at the junction of a large formed demand and new technologies.

● Find a partner with an idea.

How to evaluate a business idea?

Step 1. Clearly describe your idea

Most business ideas are really just “ideas about what the business idea will be.”

The business idea begins to take on a clear form only after the description of the key elements of the business model:

● value proposition: what customer goals and/or problems will you be helping to achieve?

● Product: What exactly will you be paid for? At the initial stage, it is worth counting on one main monetization model, we will consider the possible options below;

● customers: which audience do you primarily target?

● sales: how will you attract potential customers and turn them into real ones?

● market: where the startup has ambitions to become one of the leaders? For example, the Russian market of online foreign language learning or the global market of CRM solutions for business?

If customers and users will be different audiences, then they need to be registered separately.

Important note: technology is not a product

For technology projects, it is extremely important to “land” the technology on a specific business model. For example, efficient data compression technology can become the basis of your own cloud storage, current cloud storage solution, data center services or video hosting platform. In this case, you need to make a list of possible options and economically compare them in the next steps.

Step 2. Assess the existence of the market

In order not to waste time on something that no one but you needs, you need to understand the current market potential. After all, even with the enormous value and excellent quality of the goods and services offered, a business will not bring money if customers are not willing to pay them. The reasons for this can be very different: from the habit of getting this value for free to the lack of money from the representatives of the target audience.

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