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Avoiding Mistakes That Waste $$$ on Your Startup Idea

An article we liked from Thought Leader Linda Zhang

How to Not Waste $40K on a Startup Idea

To take an idea from zero to one, we’ve got to fuse the engineering mindset with the product mindset  How to not waste Startup Idea

Every so often, I read an article that hooks me from the start. This is the story of a guy with a fantastic startup idea whose dreams were crushed by the market.

Our protagonist, Tom, is clearly smart, which makes his story a useful example of how even the best of us can wind up building the wrong thing. The good news: his fatal mistakes are preventable. So let’s retrace them, find alternatives, and not waste $40K.‍

What risks are you taking?

Like many origin stories, it starts with a personal anecdote, a sprinkle of data, and that magical aha moment.

Tom has a splitting headache. He instinctively turns to Google for the best pain reliever, but meets a wall of SEO fluff. It dawns on him that he’s not alone. 60% of Americans search online for health information. Yet despite thousands of clinical trials to draw from, the results are usually flooded with useless links.

Enter the fantastic startup idea: a database of clinical trials to power reliable answers to common medical questions.

To prove the concept, Tom builds a spreadsheet by hand. So far, so good:

‍Here was a problem that
1. Was interesting
2. Could help people
3. I knew how to solve

His points 2 and 3 presciently cover the two big risks in building something new:

  • Market risk: do people want this enough to support a business?
  • Execution risk: can we build this within a realistic timeline?

It also marks the scene of the first fatal mistake: Tom saw his spreadsheet as a...

Read the rest of this article at entrepreneurshandbook.co...

Thanks for this article excerpt and its graphics to Linda Zhang.

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