The Path to Great Startup Idea – The What and Why

The Path to Great Startup Idea – The What and Why

Continuing our Startup Series, once you have decided to go on the startup journey, the next thing that follows is the startup idea that would anchor that excursion. Because this is not a vacation, it is very important you question the hypothesis of that decision making, since the idea you would pursue would determine how successful you would become, as a business founder.

The biggest mistake in the world is to see the opportunity pass by when you believe you can change a market and earn great returns for doing so. After all, most of these opportunities do not always repeat. That means if you miss them, by starting the company at the moment, you may never get the chance again.

Interestingly, unlike what some technology hubs, incubators or accelerators would tell you, the best startup ideas are not typically discovered via a formal process. In other words, you do not go to a camp with the sole purpose to graduate with a startup idea. Do not waste your money on those useless rituals – they deliver only marginal, tangential and derivative ideas. For the catalytic and sector-changing business ideas, setting up new basis of competition, look around!

Yes, since you live on this earth, and interact with businesses and people, many things do annoy you either because no one is doing them yet or those doing them are not doing them great enough. If you have the awareness, to notice the vacuum in the market, you have a startup idea before you.

Now, once you have observed the market friction which remains unfixed, the next process would be if you have the energy to pursue the mission. That energy encapsulates your capabilities in the specific domains. Yes, that you do not have electricity in Nigeria does not mean you should start an electricity generating company when it is evident you have not accumulated capabilities to do it even better than the incumbents. Simply, you have to know something in the area of business you want to run or where you have no technical capabilities, you must have the resources to hire those with the skills to help you. This brings you to order to examine problems with the capabilities you have to solve them.

Companies must develop and accumulate capabilities in order to compete in the market place. In this video, I explain how any firm can do that and why accumulating capability is very strategic. From Google to Dangote Group, when companies accumulate capabilities, they see themselves operating in the segments of markets with higher value (usually upstream) compared with where their competitors operate (usually downstream). Dangote Group can deploy massive assets and technical know-how in cement production, making it harder for new entrants and rivals.

In this video, I explain the What and Why that drive the discovery of Business Ideas. You need to combine great awareness with understanding of technological shifts to have the capacity to envision great startup ideas.



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2 thoughts on “The Path to Great Startup Idea – The What and Why

  1. Thanks for the master piece above, everything you’ve said are issues relating to my immediate challenge. I have startup idea but don’t want to accumulate capabilities in that area because I have my area of specialty. I would love to ask you sir if I can discuss this idea with my employer or member of the management team to allow the technical expertise in this field see the viability of this idea through thorough analysis and breakdown of concepts.

    1. Ethically, if you are employed in a company and while employed there you come up with an idea, that business idea belongs to that firm. Asking for the company to execute it makes sense. Great firms will reward you for that effort.


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