Grigor Yeghiazaryan

Software Developer and Designer

How to Pick Startup Idea

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I’m at an inclination point, where I think to stop what I’m doing and start a new thing. While working on my last idea I learned a few things that hopefully will help me to choose the right path to success.

Now the question is “if you got a few startup ideas which one you should work on?”

I came up with a few points that you may want to consider when picking an idea for your next startup. So you would want to pick the idea that:

Matches your long term values

This is basically the answer to the question ”why”. If someone ask why you are doing that, you could answer with proud. This has to be something high, something that you would want to do the rest of your life. This is the main reason that keeps you awake in the night and makes you quit your day job to work on it.

Can be built with the technology you want to work with

You need to enjoy the development process. Otherwise it becomes unpaid work. That’s why it’s important to pick the technologies, tools and services that you love. From another side the technology may influence the user experience of the end product significantly. So the choice technology becomes double important.

Solves your own problem

You are the first and the most important customer of your product. You need to feel the pain of the problem and be ready to pay for a similar product or at least become passionate user if it’s already built by someone else. This will help to make right choices along the development and prioritize the key features.

With similar services none of which is as good you’d want

If there are similar products or services that means there are developed markets with existing users and customers. Which means if you make slightly better product or service some of existing users may want to switch. Theoretically! Improving on existing product is safer and chances are you will get a usable product.

Has business model other than advertising

At the end of the day it has to generate money. But how? There are many cool ideas without consistent ways to monetize. Better to think it up front and come up with a strong business model. Personally I hate ad based monetization methods. The customers need to get real value that is much higher than the cost they pay.

General enough, so you can find users

Many experts advice to pick a niche market for small business. However finding users for a specialized product is hard. My approach is to start with a more general idea, pick enough early users and go to more specialized product for better differentiation. And probably end up in a niche. This is very tricky. But one thing is obvious. You don’t want to build something that does not get enough users.

Matches your areas of interest

Blogging is important part of startup marketing. While developing your product you are going to write about and around it. Better if it’s related to your interests. So you can get interesting information and pick juicy subjects for your posts.

These points may be obvious to you. But I wanted to highlight my priorities and pin it to a page.

So what are some of your priorities when picking an idea?