Describe your business idea in the time of an elevator ride
1. SIMPLY DEFINE YOURSELF
Introduce what you by explaining your goals
We solve [problem] by providing[advantage],
to help [target] accomplish[target’s goal].
2. STARTING FROM PROBLEM
Depending on the stage you’ve reached and your type of business, you might follow it up
with a second sentence about your business model:
We make money by charging [customers] to get [beneﬁt].
"<Your product name> is X for Y. Only better."
3. X FOR Y
Where X is pretty notorious product & Y is your market target.
Then you have to quickly explain how you tackle your speciﬁc market.
Isn’t it a royal pain to keep the ﬁles on your home and work computers and
mobile devices synchronized and backed up all the time?
4. QUESTION YOUR AUDIENCE
Our software works in the background and takes care of that for you in the
cloud, like magic.
“If your startup failed, it’s because it didn’t solve a tier 1 problem for a
large enough audience .”
VALIDATING THE DEMAND FOR YOUR PRODUCT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING.
So, how do I know if my idea is good enough?
WITH THE 0€ FRAMEWORK
Write down the problem, not a speciﬁc solution
You want to be able to write down your problem in a simple statement.
- It’s impossible to follow up with customers once they leave a restaurant
- It’s hard to determine which customers will churn before they actually do
- It’s too hard to design professional-quality graphics for social media
Determine if it’s a tier 1 problem or not
The problem you’re looking to solve is one of the top 3 problems your
potential customers are experiencing.
BUT HOW DO YOU VALIDATE THAT YOUR PROBLEM IS ACTUALLY A TIER 1 PROBLEM?
First you need to know who might typically buy your product.
Company size: 10–50 people
Role: CEO or CTO
Industry: Travel, Technology & Hospitality
You then want to come up with a list of 20–50 prospects who meet this criteria.
BUILD A BASIC PROFILE
Connect with all of the prospects you ﬁnd with a message like this:
- Be short and to the point so
you don’t waste their time
- Include a speciﬁc time when
you want to talk so you avoid
email ping pong
- Reach out to 3x the # of
prospects you actually want
to talk to.
Before your ﬁrst call, you want to come up with about 10 questions
to ask them. The entire outcome of the call is to validate:
- They experience the problem
- How painful it is for them (i.e. is it a tier 1 problem?)
- How they solve the problem now
- Would they pay for a solution to the problem
Never, ever build a startup that solves a “nice-to-have-ﬁxed” problem.
People will use your product but never pay for it.
Properly determine existing solutions
Ask: “so how do you handle that today?”
Generally speaking, you want to solve a problem where there are already
other companies trying to solve that problem too. Most times that veriﬁes
you have a large enough market with a tier 1 problem.
Look for pain in existing solutions
If they use a product, what do they dislike about it? What is it missing?
What do they need in that product to make their job easier/faster?
It’s OK to have feature parity as a baseline, but that should only be 80% of
your product. There should be at least 20% that’s better
YOU NEED TO HAVE A BETTER PRODUCT
Verify there’s a budget for a solution
Schedule another call with the interesting prospects and ask them what are
their thoughts about pricing (don’t be speciﬁc). They can have 3 answers:
- They’ll come right out and say they won’t pay for it
- They’ll be somewhere in the middle
- They’ll say they would pay for it ✅
great, how much?
AT LEAST 40-50% SHOULD BE WILLING TO PAY
Use those prospects to deﬁne your roadmap
Assuming you solve a tier 1 problem that enough people will pay for, you
now have a somewhat captive audience
You now have a built-in audience you can leverage to get feedbacks on your
product and some of them might become your ﬁrst paying customers.
1. What are you going to build?
2. What are the primary features? What will it generally look like?
3. Who needs it? Why? What are they using right now?
4. Why is this a good idea?
5. Who are your competitors?
6. How will you get users?
ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS
Write a short 2 pages document answering these questions