#Asia How to develop good ideas for a startup


Image credit:Julian Santacruz

Image credit: Julian Santacruz

If you believe you have an excellent technical background to begin your start-up with, then you should dare to take more technical risk. Let’s say, if you are an expert in machine learning, don’t neglect your skills to make an outdated app that everyone else can build. When you are still in the idea stage of your startup, keep searching – this search process is the key to success. Here are some tips for cultivating ideas to begin your new start-ups with:

1. Be aware of bad ideas

Before you continue with your idea, stop for a while on each checkpoint and ask yourself why you came up with that idea. Check if one (or more) of these statements is true about your idea:

  • Is it already being done well be someone else?
  • Has it been dismissed by domain experts because of a domain reason?
  • Has it been dismissed by domain experts because of a technical reason?

If that is the case, then you may hold back and re-think your strategy. Nowadays, it is unlikely that a ‘new idea’ is truly new. It’s hard to pass the Google test to make sure that your idea is an entirely original idea. But, if you are sure that your kind-of-fresh-idea is good and that you can bring a different take on it to the market, then go for it.

There is a current trend in building startups to merge or work on the intersection between ‘automation/internet’ and ‘unexploited area by tech’, such as overlapping the internet-of-thing with fishpond, or e-commerce with agriculture. However, do not pursue an idea that has been dismissed by a domain expert since it is not possible to apply it in the industry (well, at least for first-time entrepreneur). You have to make sure that your new tech-products do not conflict when applied in another domain that you don’t know very well.

2. Technical risks can avoid bad ideas

The first question to pose is: can you build your idea? Tons of ideas come from millions of people, and the first to build is the most likely to win. How can you tackle technical risks? Here are some tips:

  • Work on hard problems: it’s easier to find hard problems than good ideas. Sometimes, for most people, hard problems don’t seem to have good solution at all. But the good thing is, if you can solve that hard problem, then you can unlock many valuable things behind that. Imagine how good the impact is on the world, then.
  • Work on new problems: you can work on something that no one else has ever tried to work on, or even thought of. You can build you own market with your innovation. If you choose this path, there is a high option value to target a relevant growing market.
  • Work on what your obsession really is: the best thing about following your obsession is – you can see the future. If you are so obsessed with it, then you tend to become an expert on it. You want to know everything about it and put your vision, heart, mind, and time to work on what you are so obsessed with.

3. Don’t be discouraged by technical risk

Missing a bar on technical risk is still fine, but missing a bar on market risk is fatal. The fact shows that most of the techpreneurs fail on market-risk. So don’t be scared of technical risk, if you are sure that you are capable and can develop further.

Bad opportunities are those with high-level ideas but without even a low-level of innovation. Innovation is important for startups trying to solve more complicated problems. Another thing that may not be last long is using the “X” to “Y” formulation, such as using Airbnb for the garage, or a product such as Uber for food, and so forth.

4. Ideas with big opportunities

If you are still looking for ideas on high-technical startups that can bring big opportunities, you can look at these suggestions:

  • Security and privacy: government, e-commerce, banks, and more companies need that now as we are haunted by big-data from costumers.
  • Artificial Intelligence: speaking of data, machine learning startups may keep shining. Machine learning startups that can be outstanding is one that can make a breakthrough, whether on the technique or the data. For the data they process, it depends on how important the data is, where they can collect data, etc.
  • New sensors: more and more startups working on wearable devices set the trend. Demands are still high for new sensors (bio-sensor, velocity sensors, tinier camera, pressure sensor, etc.) that will be embedded on the wearable devices or mobile phones.
  • Virtual Reality (VR)/ Augmented Reality (AR): Don’t forget about VR and AR, as the development of making virtual world into reality is still a hot field.  Research is still enhancing the virtual experience by integrating more sensors, for the visual, audio, tactile, etc.

To end off with, building a startup is hard, but that is where the value comes from.

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