Book Review: Startup Opportunities

Startup Opportunities – Know When To Quit Your Day Job, Sean Wise & Brad Feld

Key Concepts from this book:

Opportunity Evaluation

All of the following criteria must be true of the idea. If one area is missing, the opportunity is incomplete. (From page 8. Text in italics is my summary of the authors’ points.)

  1. Idea is durable. [It can’t just be a fad.]
  2. Idea is timely. [You are not too early or late to the market.]
  3. Idea is attractive. [The rewards are going to be greater than the costs.]
  4. Idea adds value. [It must make the buyer or user’s life better. The product or service must take the buyer to the next level.]

Solve someone’s pain-point.

Drill down to a very specific pain that someone has and solve this. They will be willing to pay for this. If you are in a room that has no oxygen, you are willing to pay anything to get oxygen. If you have a toothache, the pain can be all-consuming. You would pay anything to get rid of a toothache. Find those pain points that people are having, and then solve for them.

Talk to your customers.

Steve Blank always says, “Get out of the building.”
You need to talk to your customers and find out what their pain points are. If no one is responding to the pain relief that you are trying to provide then maybe:

  1. You haven’t reached enough people.
  2. You haven’t reached the right group of people.
  3. This isn’t a pain that anyone else cares about.

Figure out what pain people are having. Be empathetic (care.) Remove the pain for people.

This book is worth reading. It bills itself as a precursor to The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, The Startup Owner’s Manual by Steve Blank, and Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet. I think that it does a great job of giving exploring entrepreneurs a good starting point.