Kapi Pe Charcha #002 – Venture Highway

“OK – so I have a set of ideas now. How do I check if they are any good?” 

In our last post, we came up with a set of methods to help us constantly come up with new ideas. We weren’t worried about originality, quality, feasibility or the size of the opportunity. We were just focused on idea generation. 

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Suppose you now have a longlist of ideas. How do you convert this into a shortlist? 

You have to check each idea against the following three criteria:

  • User/ Persona: Is there at least one person out there who cares for the problem your idea is solving? Will this person pay you for solving this problem? Describe this person. [No – this cannot be your parents, siblings or best friends. Find a stranger.]
  • Size: How many other people are like this person? A few? Many? A lot? Can you estimate this number? 
  • Competition: Have other businesses tried solving this problem? What are the current alternatives in the market? 

Example: your idea is to provide online assistants (the kind large companies are able to provide their executives) to busy professionals to streamline their lives. 

Now run this idea through the set of criteria stated above: 

User/ Persona: Create a simple landing page for an assistant service. Use social media to circulate this page. See how many people sign up? Or just run a simple poll on LinkedIn/ Twitter. Now reach out to the people who respond. How much do they care about streamlining their lives? Will they pay for this service? How much will they pay? Describe your user in detail. It should be as detailed as something like the following:

 “Romila Mathur (she/ her), 36, mother of two. Has a busy work schedule (works as a category manager at an e-com giant) and takes care of her father (who is diabetic). She struggles to keep her schedule (professional and personal) in order. An assistant (even working for 1 hour per day) could really simplify her life. She is willing to pay INR 5000 per month for this service.”

Size: How many people are similar to the persona above? Less than a thousand? 100K? 10 million? Try different ways of estimating this number. 

Competition: A simple Google search tells you that a number of freelancers offer their services as assistants. A few agencies also operate in this space. Some agencies also offer virtual assistants. Why don’t enough people already use this service? 

Do this for each idea and you will have your shortlist. 

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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