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Lessons from the trenches: Disconfirming Evidence

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Since we’ve been involved with a successful startup before (Workbrain), people often call us for advice and insight on starting a new company. One of the most common questions we hear is: “I want to …

Since we’ve been involved with a successful startup before (Workbrain), people often call us for advice and insight on starting a new company. One of the most common questions we hear is: “I want to be an entrepreneur. How do I know I’ve come up with a great idea?” Here's a lesson from the trenches on how to find out.

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  • Transcript

    • 1. Disconfirming Evidence
      CONFIDENTIAL
    • 2. The people want to know
      “I want to be an entrepreneur. How do I know I’ve come up with a great idea?”
      2
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
    • 3. Short answer is…
      You don’t.
      3
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
    • 4. From the “Not Yet” dept.
      Don’t write a business plan.
      Your idea will shift a lot during the customer discovery process to find product/market fit.
      4
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
    • 5. Business plans…
      …are exercises in convincing other people that you have a great idea.
      5
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
    • 6. Better use of your time
      Look for
      disconfirming evidence
      that the choice to start this business is a good one
      6
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
    • 7. Prove you might be right…
      …by proving that you’re probably not wrong.
      There are no guarantees, but you’ll save a lot of time and resource and get to customer development much sooner.
      7
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
    • 8. The Process
      How to disprove your brilliant business idea in five easy steps
      8
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
    • 9. 1• Create a general filter
      What’s your passion?
      What kind of business do you want?
      We knew we wanted SaaS, low professional services,
      consumer-ized, freemium, focused on a large demographic shift
      9
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
    • 10. 2• Do general research
      Spend a few days talking to real people who know about your problem
      We’ll revisit this idea in an upcoming lesson.
      10
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
    • 11. 3• Agree on required truths
      What must be true for your idea to be awesome?
      This is the important part. Don’t list more than 5.
      11
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
    • 12. Personal jet packs!
      12
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
      Things that must be true to attain awesome:
      People will want them (duh!)
      You can get regulatory approval
      You have access to technical know-how to design/build them
      You can manufacture them at a price point a large market will bear
      Illustration by Jonathan Wolfe. Licensed under Creative Commons.
    • 13. 4• Arrange from easiest to hardest
      13
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
      Technical know-how
      Regulatory approval
      Demand
      Price point
      Cake by Patent and the Pantry. Monster by Don Solo. Licensed under Creative Commons.
    • 14. 5• Disprove truths in order
      14
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
      Technical know-how?
      Regulatory approval?
      Demand?
      Price point?
    • 15. 5• Disprove truths in order
      15
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
      Technical know-how?
      Regulatory approval?
      Demand?
      Price point?
      Damn! I don’t know how to build a jetpack.
    • 16. 5• Disprove truths in order
      16
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
      Technical know-how?
      Regulatory approval?
      Demand?
      Price point?
      IDEA FAIL
      Damn! I don’t know how to build a jetpack.
    • 17. But wait!
      Idea fail is not real fail.
      You still learned stuff (hopefully by talking to people!) Tweak and iterate on your idea or move on.
      17
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
      Customer Development diagram from Steve Blank.
    • 18. Most importantly!
      Don’t give up.
      If it’s not this one, it might be the next one.
      Stick to the process and you’ll find one that doesn’t fail.
      18
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
    • 19. Suggested reading material
      19
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches
      See http://bit.ly/roger-martin for links
    • 20. Lessons from the trenches
      Check out our blog for more lessons: http://bit.ly/rypple-lessons
      20
      Rypple Lessons from the Trenches

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