Almost a majority of the time, when I pass on an investment opportunity, there's something wrong with the company that can be traced back to the moment the entrepreneur came up with the idea. I find myself thinking, "You should really be doing something else."
People are excited about the idea of starting a company, but don't spend nearly enough time vetting what to work on. Frankly, I'm sceptical that the "picking an idea" thing has any decent likelihood of working out, versus having an idea pick you.
What's your answer to "Did you pick this idea or did this idea pick you?"
If you're having trouble sussing out an idea at the very earliest of stages, or you feel like you have something to offer, but you're not sure what to work on, try this exercise on for size.
It will help you figure out why you're doing something, what you bring to the table to an unknown thing, and how to start thinking about pacing your progress.
BackgroundI want to… (choose one)
create something, improve something
I have an… (choose any that apply)
interest, observation, opportunity, idea, question, asset, skill, goal, company, product, problem
Why now? (rank these)
Personal time limitation
Status Currently, I am [working full time/working part time/exploring/practicing/researching/improving] [name of the field or job].
I have been doing this for [x] [days/months/years].
I currently spend [x] hours per week doing this.
This is a time-sensitive endeavor (y or n)
If y, there is a time period that this needs to be executed within
I am working on this [alone/with others].
I [do/do not] make money doing this.
I [do/do not] make enough money doing this to sustain my lifestyle.
I [would/would not] like to work on this full time.
I am sure that this is something I should be pursuing (agree/disagree)
I have a clear sense of the things I need to do to succeed or improve. (ag [...]