Back from TEDIndia. Had an incredible brain work out.
The Zellot brains are supposed to be working their brains as well. For them, it is in the process of ideation and concept development. Some teams have not yet found a venture, while some have found and in the meantime, already dead and buried ventures after preliminary validation. It is amazing what Google search turns out in the competitor landscape…
All the teams are brainstorming, researching and racking their brains and those of their significant others, families, co-workers and just about anyone that will listen, either searching for an idea or validating its need and feasibility.
A few words on idea choice for Zellot entrepreneurs and in general: You want an idea that resonates with you, ideally one that scratches your itch so to speak. This is not only so that you can enjoy working on the venture all your waking hours and dream about it in your sleeping hours; when you scratch your itch, you are also probably doing something you know about. Domain expertise or understanding of the market you intend to enter whether by virtue of work or army experience or otherwise is an ideal jump start for credibility in your field. For young inexperienced entrepreneurs it is almost essential. You want an idea you can relate to, one you are excited about, one whose market or ecosystem you have experience in. All that is well and good, but you also critically need a need, a market opportunity, an imbalance, a consumer or user pain that you can ingeniously solve. Its not just about finding something you love, its about harnessing an opportunity in an exciting market, uncharted territory, unanswered need. Once you find one, you may find yourself impassioned by virtue of opportunity itself.
It is tempting to leap from need to solution, but leads to many false starts. Better to stick it out in concept mode and consider the need in all its manifestations. Talk to use cases about that need, understand what it is they lack for, check out the eco-system, see what is presently out there, only after considering the alternatives and the market need as expressed by your future customers, only then, see if there is a solution you can offer. A solution that is innovative enough, differentiated enough, one with a reasonable barrier to entry on the one hand, but feasible enough for you to be able to achieve on the other. Otherwise you may find yourself deep in feature development for a product nobody needs.
If an idea is born, consider it in view of its position in the value chain, of your position in the market place and the feasibility of your being able to see it through. Is it a cliff hanger? Does it need considerable buy in or collaboration to make it work? How much money is needed to get it off the ground? How much money can it generate? Is it scalable?