Asking if a Startup Idea is Good

Recently an entrepreneur was walking by in the hall and asked if I’d listen to the latest idea he was working on. Sure, I said, and we talked for a few minutes. Upon asking me if I liked the idea, I immediately thought on Fred Wilson’s tweetstorm and said that it doesn’t matter if I think it’s a good idea because they’re investing their time in it and I’m not. Finding out what the market and potential customers think is much better than what some entrepreneur thinks.

Here’s the end of the tweetstorm:

The next time an entrepreneur asks if their idea is good, tell them what matters is that they think it’s good as they’ll be spending time on it. Entrepreneurship starts with believing in oneself as a prerequisite to getting others to believe.

What else? What are some other thoughts on asking if a startup idea is good?

2 thoughts on “Asking if a Startup Idea is Good

  1. I always ask: Have you talked to potential customers yet? Have you asked them if they will pay $XYZ/m for it?

    This seems to drive home the point it doesn’t matter what they think, it’s what the potential customers think.

  2. I hate it when people ask me if I think their idea is good or bad. What i’ve resorted to doing is asking what their customers have said, and what kind of feedback they’re getting. I alway punt to the data and feedback, because that’s the truth. What i think shouldn’t matter. I tend to always be positive and say, “well if you can get X number of users to use it, then you’re really on to something.”

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