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How to generate and evaluate business ideas?


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These are slides from my talk at Founder Institute's opening session in Finland. They don't work well w/o speech. Quick and dirty. Perhaps the most interesting part is the quick-and-dirty opportunity evaluation framework ... or not. Enjoy!

Published in: Business
  • If I was going to invest in a startup (team) I would evaluate the team and how they relate especially when they agree and disagree. One thing I have noticed that is a killer to teams is members either overly agreeing (by a long way) ie "your soooo right" and "that's perfect" or my pet hate "Ab-sol-utely!" Or overly disagreeing ie. "that's crap" or "your wrong" "you're starting to piss me off" or "that can't be done" or "the fact is..." Give me 2 hours as a fly on the wall and I think I would be able to see right though the team (startup). But being a fly on the wall is not so easy but asking to see some email correspondance between members might be useful especially unedited.
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How to generate and evaluate business ideas?

  1. 1. Vision & Values Mika Marjalaakso Founder Institute Helsinki 21.11.2012
  3. 3. What kinds of opportunities you should focus on? Passion Big Best in the untapped world opportunity
  4. 4. Bad ideas are not always bad …Recreation of Peter Thiel’s venn diagram of good startup investments.
  5. 5. Where do opportunities arise from? Enabling Consumer Business Model Industry Regulation Technology Behaviour• Location • BYOD • SaaS • Finance • AMR business• AI • Social media • Crowdsourcing • Energy / Smart case as an• Cloud sharing habits • Subscription Grid example• Grid Computing commerce • Retail • A number of / P2P • Freemium … • Government medical and• Mobile financial • Medical• Pervasive cheap innovations … always-on connectivity• Payment systems …
  6. 6. It’s all about increasing awareness
  7. 7. How to brainstorm ideas?• Simply start listing down various ideas on paper• Involve trusted people with diverse backgrounds and view points early on (industry / domain experience, techie, designer)• Sit down, exchange ideas, copy, twist, add, take out – be creative• The ugly truth: the best ideas come always as a surprise when you don’t try to figure out them; be aware and let your subconsious do the work for you
  8. 8. Build your best ideas into concepts(very few idea level things can be evaluated …)
  9. 9. How to evaluate ideas?The OAK Quick and Dirty Opportunity Evaluation Framework Compelling Idea Opportunity Entry Point Market Size & Growth Competitive Situation Small idea Big idea Timing Pivotability Assets Team Attitude Prototype Piece of shit Great stuff IPR Customers / Partnerships Kill Often, Kill Fast Money A: 10k€ B: 100k€ C: 1M€ Basic research, Quick GTM, truck load of money double down Time A: 6 months B: 1 year C: > 1 year
  10. 10. understand your customer’s needs
  11. 11. minimum viable product?
  12. 12. solve your customer’s problem
  14. 14. Key Takeaways1.Start with the problem/customer not with piece of (shit) tech.2. Team. Team. Team.3. At the intersection of … – Passion – Best in the world – Big untapped opportunity4. Culture matters.