How to Generate
Business Ideas
Mike Fishbein, https://stpcollege.com/
About Me
Founder of Startup College
Author of Customer Development for
Entrepreneurs
Featured in Huffington Post, Entrepre...
Job of an Entrepreneur
Serve customers by solving a problem or
delivering value
In a free market, entrepreneurs who don’t ...
Problems and Inefficient Processes

“The way to get startup ideas is not to try to
think of startup ideas. It's to look fo...
How to Identify Demand
1. Scratch Your Own Itch
2. Interview Customers
3. Meet Known Needs
4. Do What’s Working
1. Scratch Your Own Itch
“Why is it so important to work on a problem you
have? Among other things, it ensures the problem...
How to Scratch Your Own Itch
What unmet needs do you have?
What challenges do you face throughout the
day?
What product do...
2. Customer Development Interviews
a. Pick a customer segment
Based on your relationships, access, propensity to buy,
pass...
3. Meet Known Needs

“Great companies do 1+ of 3 things:
Get you laid, get you paid, get you made” Dave McClure, 500 Start...
Examples
Paid = Salesforce, banks, Airbnb
Made = Twitter, college
Laid = Cars, Clothes, Tinder
Transportation = Uber
Survi...
4. Do What’s Working
“At a time when so many internet entrepreneurs are
running around Silicon Valley trying to do
somethi...
4 Second Mover Advantages
Validated customer demand
Customer acquisition strategy
Increased awareness
Observe product mana...
Examples of Second Movers
Facebook
Simple
5 Hour Energy
Ecommerce
Social media consultants
How to Test
Business Ideas
“I have an idea...now what?”
3 Key Questions
Is there demand for this?
Would supplying this lead to $$?
Am I suited to supply this?
Does anyone want this?
Customer development interviews to test
hypotheses
Pre-sales to validate demand
Minimum viable prod...
How can I make money?
Is this a big enough problem that people will
pay you?
Is the market big enough to meet your goals?
...
Am I qualified?
Do you have a competitive advantage?
Do you have the skillsets required? (marketing,
sales, management, et...
Key Takeaways
Solve problems, deliver value
Gain customer insights to identify demands
Practice customer development to mi...
To learn more...

https://stpcollege.com/
...check out Startup College
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How to Generate Business Ideas

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This presentation covers how to identify customer demands, how to test and validate demand, and more

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  • @donaldrbernard Thanks Donald!

    Yeah, solving your own problem eliminates the risk of solving a problem no one has.

    Great point about passion. It also enables you to get faster feedback because you can essentially customer development interview yourself.
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  • Very informative. I especially like how you highlighted the need to first start with our own problem - it makes it easier to visualize and conceptualize, and it also makes you more passionate about solving the problem since there is a personal motive behind it.
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How to Generate Business Ideas

  1. 1. How to Generate Business Ideas Mike Fishbein, https://stpcollege.com/
  2. 2. About Me Founder of Startup College Author of Customer Development for Entrepreneurs Featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and more Previously venture studio and corporate innovation
  3. 3. Job of an Entrepreneur Serve customers by solving a problem or delivering value In a free market, entrepreneurs who don’t serve customers fail To execute, an entrepreneur must identify customer demands and how to meet them
  4. 4. Problems and Inefficient Processes “The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It's to look for problems…” - Paul Graham
  5. 5. How to Identify Demand 1. Scratch Your Own Itch 2. Interview Customers 3. Meet Known Needs 4. Do What’s Working
  6. 6. 1. Scratch Your Own Itch “Why is it so important to work on a problem you have? Among other things, it ensures the problem really exists. It sounds obvious to say you should only work on problems that exist. And yet by far the most common mistake startups make is to solve problems no one has.” – Paul Graham, YCombinator
  7. 7. How to Scratch Your Own Itch What unmet needs do you have? What challenges do you face throughout the day? What product do you wish you had? Make sure you’re not the only one...
  8. 8. 2. Customer Development Interviews a. Pick a customer segment Based on your relationships, access, propensity to buy, passion b. Ask them what their problems are What’s the hardest part of your day? What unmet needs do you have?
  9. 9. 3. Meet Known Needs “Great companies do 1+ of 3 things: Get you laid, get you paid, get you made” Dave McClure, 500 Startups
  10. 10. Examples Paid = Salesforce, banks, Airbnb Made = Twitter, college Laid = Cars, Clothes, Tinder Transportation = Uber Surviving = Food Save Time = Buffer Entertainment = Movies
  11. 11. 4. Do What’s Working “At a time when so many internet entrepreneurs are running around Silicon Valley trying to do something no one else has ever done, [Evan] Williams believes that the real trick is to find something that's tried and true” - Twitter co-founder via Wired
  12. 12. 4 Second Mover Advantages Validated customer demand Customer acquisition strategy Increased awareness Observe product management and marketing
  13. 13. Examples of Second Movers Facebook Simple 5 Hour Energy Ecommerce Social media consultants
  14. 14. How to Test Business Ideas “I have an idea...now what?”
  15. 15. 3 Key Questions Is there demand for this? Would supplying this lead to $$? Am I suited to supply this?
  16. 16. Does anyone want this? Customer development interviews to test hypotheses Pre-sales to validate demand Minimum viable product to get fast feedback
  17. 17. How can I make money? Is this a big enough problem that people will pay you? Is the market big enough to meet your goals? How strong is the competition?
  18. 18. Am I qualified? Do you have a competitive advantage? Do you have the skillsets required? (marketing, sales, management, etc.) Do you have the relationships (customers, partners, etc.) Do you have the capital or access to capital? Are you passionate enough to run this business for years?
  19. 19. Key Takeaways Solve problems, deliver value Gain customer insights to identify demands Practice customer development to minimize the risk of spending a bunch of time and money on something no one wants
  20. 20. To learn more... https://stpcollege.com/ ...check out Startup College
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