When you have an idea for a new startup, it’s tempting to do some quick research on Google and then jump right into coding.
That’s a bad idea if you want to be sure you are on the right track. Launching a product requires a lot of effort, and it can be difficult to determine whether your idea is workable.
By following the steps below, you can greatly improve the odds of success when deciding what you should and shouldn’t pursue.
First, ask yourself these questions
Before building out any business idea, consider the following questions as you evaluate your startup idea:
- What value does this offering add to the end user?
- How have others attempted this idea before, and why did those concepts succeed or fail?
- In the unlikely event others haven’t attempted the idea, why hasn’t this been tried before?
- Who are potential competitors to this concept down the road?
- What killer feature does my idea have that is difficult for my competition to emulate?
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to conducting market research for your business idea.
But if you can’t answer those fundamental questions early on, it’s a sign that your idea may not be worth pursuing.
Examine these sources of rock-solid intelligence
Postmortems and case studies
In any area of entrepreneurship, failure tends to be viewed as a rite of passage to running a successful business.
It’s true that many lessons are best learned firsthand, but by examining case studies and postmortems (analyses of failed projects), you can avoid reinventing the wheel and hitting the same roadblocks others faced. And conversely, case studies can provide a wealth of information on techniques that can help you succeed.
While a Google search will likely turn up many useful sources, you need to assess the credibility of each. Before believing everything in the reports, make sure you consider the following:
- Is the author of this report an objective source? Articles written by founders, investors and ex-employees might provide deep insights. But be warned: These people are emotionally attached to their ideas, and they will have a bias in how they explain the events.
- Avoid survivorship bias. You should never focus only on successful startups. Success doesn’t equal perfection. Be sure to examine all sides of the issue in your analysis.
- Don’t take information at face value. Just because a paper is published in a trade journal or scholarly paper doesn’t mean that the information is 100% accurate.
To learn more, read the rest of this article on Sitepoint