Saturday, November 05, 2005

Where to get ideas for startups?

Paul Graham gives an elaborate explanation of "where to get ideas". He says:

"I think people believe that coming up with ideas for startups is very hard-- that it must be very hard-- and so they don't try do to it. They assume ideas are like miracles: they either pop into your head or they don't.

I also have a theory about why people think this. They overvalue ideas. They think creating a startup is just a matter of implementing some fabulous initial idea. And since a successful startup is worth millions of dollars, a good idea is therefore a million dollar idea.

If coming up with an idea for a startup equals coming up with a million dollar idea, then of course it's going to seem hard. Too hard to bother trying. Our instincts tell us something so valuable would not be just lying around for anyone to discover.

Actually, startup ideas are not million dollar ideas, and here's an experiment you can try to prove it: just try to sell one. Nothing evolves faster than markets. The fact that there's no market for startup ideas suggests there's no demand. Which means, in the narrow sense of the word, that startup ideas are worthless."

What I believe is, successful startups and companies were not built on ideas that popped into the founders' heads but, they were built on a vision. You feel something is wrong with the way a particular thing works or the way certain task is accomplished and you want to express everyone what is the right way of doing things -- this is how successful companies were born. And one more thing I feel is, you should have a genuine desire to help or serve people a desire and passion to create some excellent product or service that will allow people to do things in a better or easier way.

"I actually think there's actually very little distinction between an artist and a scientist or engineer of the highest caliber. I've never had a distinction in my mind between those two types of people. They've just been to me people who pursue different paths but basically kind of headed to the same goal which is to express something of what they perceive to be the truth around them so that others can benefit by it." -- Steve Jobs.