Pretty much every day I get an email from someone pitching me her or his startup idea, often asking what I think about the idea and how viable I believe the startup to be. What strikes me is that very often it is utterly unclear to me how the person came up with the particular business concept — it doesn’t seem to be grounded in a deep passion the person has about the chosen space or a well-researched actual business need; but rather a somewhat random “thing” which the person seems to throw against the wall in the hope that it sticks.
Truth be told — that just doesn’t work.
You either follow a passion (in which case you become a crusader for your cause — and might make it work, as people like to follow passionate people and their work) or you have actually figured out that there is a real market for what you’re doing.
Here’s a neat little framework from the great Ashwin Navin on how to figure out what your next business should be:
Create a list with all your ideas — the opportunities you see, the spaces you want to be in, your passion projects. Then try to assign each of these potential businesses a metric for things like potential scale, execution risk, start-up capital required, defensibility, etc. Lastly you rank your ideas — which leaves you with a much better and somewhat objective insight into the true potential of your idea.
The holiday break is a perfect time to do this. :)