Thinking of a startup: start small and start now!

Posted by: the telerik blogs, on 02 Apr 2012 | View original | Bookmarked: 0 time(s)

Over the past few months, Ive judged both the Startup Weekend and ServiceJam in Hong Kong, attended pitch nights, and spoke at some start-up networking events. Almost all aspiring entrepreneurs who I talked to at these events struggled with when was the right time to release V1 of their product. One guy even told me that he was sitting on an idea, an idea that he thinks can be bigger than Facebook, for almost 12 years waiting for patents!

My advice to each all of these entrepreneurs is the same: start small and start now. Your best bet if you are thinking about something is to just do it. Many people think that they cant do it or that their project is too big. No problem! Start small and test your theory out. Weve all heard about MVP or minimum viable product, but my advice goes even deeper: minimum viable idea (MVI).

What is a minimum viable idea? It is the smallest version of your idea that you can test and get meaningful results. If you are unsure of your idea or want to validate your idea, you have to build the minimum viable product of your minimum viable idea and compare the results against your assumptions and expectations. Then as the saying goes iterate or exit.

For example someone recently came to me with a social networking idea. They had a big grandiose plan to build their own platform with all the bells and whistles. The idea was good, but would it fly? I just dont know if their assumptions are valid. They complained that they had to wait a few months for their first MVP to be built so they can start testing and validating their assumptions. I told them why months? You can build a super small version of the idea as a Facebook app, share it with some friends/testers, and gather the results. A minimum viable ideas minimum viable Facebook app would probably take a HKU student one or two weeks to put together.

Another friend wanted to build an elaborate social media powered electronic display in a drab public place, requiring government approval. (The goal is to increase happiness as well as make some money.) What would be a MVI? Ask for permission to paint the drab public some happy colors with a painted easy to remember link for people to +1 or like or comment and display those comments as an RSS feed. No difficult software to build and a much easier conversation with the public works department. (Or maybe this can be accomplished just by buying advertisement space, no need for any approval!) The results that come back will help validate the idea!

The best way to get started is to actually get started. Go out there and find a fast, cheap, and creative way to test your idea (MVI) before you even start to think about the MVP of your true offering.

Good luck.



OrcsWeb's Windows Cloud Server Hosting

Category: Certification | Other Posts: View all posts by this blogger | Report as irrelevant | View bloggers stats | Views: 660 | Hits: 10

Similar Posts

  • Q3 2009 Release Week kicks-off November 4th, Free Daily Webinars more
  • I finally got my Behringer Podcastudio working more
  • DotNetNuke Corp. joins Microsoft Website Spark Program more
  • Auto-Start ASP.NET Applications (VS 2010 and .NET 4.0 Series) more
  • Speaking at the Portland Area .NET User Group on Tuesday Sept 1st more
  • How to get started with Lucene.net more
  • The usual result of Poor Mans Dependency Injection more
  • ORM Release History : Q2 2009 (2009.2.701.5) more
  • Im asked, how did you learn what you know ? more
  • Lifecycle of an open source project more

News Categories

.NET | Agile | Ajax | Architecture | ASP.NET | BizTalk | C# | Certification | Data | DataGrid | DataSet | Debugger | DotNetNuke | Events | GridView | IIS | Indigo | JavaScript | Mobile | Mono | Patterns and Practices | Performance | Podcast | Refactor | Regex | Security | Sharepoint | Silverlight | Smart Client Applications | Software | SQL | VB.NET | Visual Studio | W3 | WCF | WinFx | WPF | WSE | XAML | XLinq | XML | XSD