The ideas

To be honest, a lot of ideas came to me during my journey, and they are coming all the time, so for me, it’s always a challenge to choose the right idea.

What was the right idea for me?

For me, it had to satisfy the following criteria:

  1. To be interesting for me to implement
  2. Not to be too complicated to implement (example: ML service; I know what it is and how to build and train not too complicated models but it’s really hard for me to find out how to use them in practice)
  3. To be an engineering challenge (or, not to be too easy to implement – it does not only make the project more interesting but also raises the threshold)
  4. Not to be based on the content (it’s hard for me to produce highly valuable content on a regular basis)
  5. To have competitors and successful products on the market (it’s obvious, no products – … no market for the idea?)
  6. I should be able to produce an MVP in some pretty short period of time (2-3 months).

This is a real bullshit

Can you imagine, this list does NOT have any mention of customers and their needs what was super stupid – as I realize it now. So, starting this journey, I’m going to refine the process of picking up an idea and the product adding one most important component – the users and their pain.

So, the priorities look now differently:

  1. Is it a painkiller or a delighter? (A painkiller is better)
  2. Do users really need it or they are pretty good with using substitutes?
  3. Which profits/result will they have?
  4. Am I able to implement MVP on my own? (What about the product itself? If I can’t create the final product, am I able to find a co-founder/a partner to help with it?)
  5. Is it challenging enough? (Or, in other words, is it a low- or high-hanging fruit?)
  6. How many competitors here? (If many, how I would distinguish from them, what would my USP (unique selling proposition)?)

I’ve picked up two ideas (one is a tool for learning a foreign language, and the second one – for creating videos online). I’ve already experimented a lot with technologies that could be used in both products and even created some kind of MVPs but abandoned all of them before, so I can consider the engineering part is done (i.e. they are feasible).

But there are still problems – I really do NOT know if my potential users would like:

  • to use them
  • to move to them from what they are using now
  • to pay for using them.

To figure it out, I’m going to do a comprehensive research and, maybe, customers interviews.

My primary thought was to start from the interview but this part looked too hard for me (yes, it so hard that made the mission just impossible) – so I really started thinking to give up thinking about a startup at all. But today I accidentally found another approach – instead of conducting interviews someone could do research into a real user’s pain. I don’t know if the method works or not, but I definitely can start with it.

I will tell in the next post, how I’m doing such kind of research and what I knew from them.