Top 5 pitfalls when evaluating a startup idea

I was at a meetup last night with several new entrepreneurs that were working on their ideas. When I asked them questions on their ideas, the answers I got did not sound too satisfactory. Here are the common pitfalls when choosing an idea that may hopefully help some of you.

1) Not knowing the market size – sometimes we jump into ideas that apply to only a subsection of people. Not knowing how big the potential market for the idea is is a big problem with several entrepreneurs.

2) Are you trying to solve a problem that does not exist? – In other words, Is this a real problem ? I met a founder that was trying to solve a problem related to travel. His take was that there were a few companies that are trying but no one has really succeeded. Any my take was – is this really a problem ? Has there been enough research to determine if this is something that needs an online solution ?

3) Over-estimating what you can do yourself – I met a few people that are going at it on their own. Great for them, but there is only this far that a single person can go.

4) Not being able to present the idea in clear, concise, non-technical language – If you cannot successfully explain your idea to your mom, then you need to rehearse your speel.

5) An idea in itself is of no use at all – I met several people that had “ideas” for a startup. Everyone has ideas. Doing well is about who can execute them. The question once you have the idea would be – do you have what it takes to execute it and the flexibility to iterate as the market and your users demand ?

Here is a good post from an entrepreneur on his method to generate ideas.

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