Every startup journey begins with an idea. And every startup is synonymous to the word “idea”. It’s an idea that fuels a to-be-entrepreneur to take the plunge, and build everything around it. Ideas are of two types – good and bad. Isn’t it? Well, the startup world has two more dimensions to the word idea – relevant and irrelevant. Unfortunately, most startup ideas die in a war between these two dimensions. That’s because there’s a million-dollar question awaiting every entrepreneur in the making. Does my startup idea solve a relevant problem?
Well, it’s great if a startup solves a relevant problem. The probability of it succeeding will be much higher. But in business, if we’re looking for guarantees, then we’re terribly mistaken. Come to think of it, every business solves a problem; relevant or not is subjective though. What is relevant to me could be irrelevant to you. But who really decides whether a problem that’s being solved by a startup is truly relevant or not? Is it the sole territory of investors and market researchers only? No. A startup idea is closest to the person who is driving it. If that person knows that he will put in all his energies in making the idea click, it’s a decent beginning. Relevancy can be achieved over a period of time as well. There are quite a few examples in history that re-iterate the fact that relevancy is one of the most important things one should consider before moving ahead. But it’s NOT the ONLY important thing. History has witnessed some run-of-the-mill startup ideas turning out to be the biggest brands. That’s because those ideas were driven with unmatched passion and dedication. There are very few startup ideas that can hit the market in their current shape, and still create history. Most ideas are tweaked in the initial phase. Your idea could be less relevant or irrelevant to people. But when the force driving the idea is passionate, it can be tweaked to become relevant. On the flip side, there are ideas that were truly relevant and unique. They did great in the beginning. But tanked pretty soon. The world is changing at such a fast pace that from the time an idea is born to the time it is executed, it can easily become irrelevant. So, it’s not about making sure an idea is relevant in the beginning. What’s more important is to concentrate on quick turn-around-time to improvise the idea when it’s actually out there in the market. As making an idea relevant is an on-going process.
We can forecast stuff, conduct focus-group discussions, take surveys, analyze & evaluate results, tweak plans, and improvise. But the success of a startup doesn’t just depend on solving a problem that’s “relevant”. It also depends on how the said startup answers the following questions:
“How” is the startup solving the problem?
Well, there could be hundreds of businesses solving the same problem. But if your startup can do it differently, it will certainly have better chances of making it big. Customers love innovation. Don’t they?
“Who” is solving the problem?
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have the backing of key investors, or an educational qualification to die for. If you do, it’s a bonus. But the real thing is whether the person or the team that’s solving the problem is highly passionate or not.
“Why” is the startup solving the problem?
Well, this is an extension of the previous one. But if the problem is being solved just to make money, and there’s no “real” purpose to it, it’s a lost battle already.
Being relevant is certainly important. But contrary to popular belief, beginning with relevancy is not necessary. So, next time you think of launching a startup, just put all your energies together, plan, focus, relax, breathe your idea 24/7, work on it like there’s no tomorrow, persevere, be quick, be open to suggestions, then go ahead and startup. But before that, read my book, STFU-Start the F Up!
About The Author:
Rajive Dhavan is a Serial Entrepreneur, Digital Marketing Consultant, Brand Consultant, and the author of the book STFU – Start The F Up, for present & future leaders of startups. He’s got a collective work experience of over 10 years. Having launched his first startup at the age of 22, today he heads three successful companies – What’s In a Name Creatives, Namesake Productions & Just Flaunt Salon. He launched his first startup with an investment of Rs. 40,000 and (Read More…)