Superior Startup Idea Characteristics



Learning where great startup ideas come from is a passion area of mine. Naturally, ideation and “light bulb” moments aren’t actually glamorous, but the ability to profoundly change the lives of so many people creates a sense of awe.

Last week I was reminded of this when hearing an entrepreneur pitch her business over Zoom. Her idea instantly met a number of key characteristics:

  • Obvious idea that needs to exist in the world
  • Clear offline analogy that hadn’t been brought online yet
  • Limited competition currently (some competition is ideal)
  • Small, high growth market with potential to be massive
  • Genuine authentic demand whereby people clamor for a solution
  • Key innovation available due to an advancement in technology

Most ideas don’t emerge fully formed. In fact, the best ideas often come from first exploring a related idea and stumbling upon a better idea. Putting together a simple list of characteristics provides a heuristic to evaluate against. Entrepreneurs would do well to put more time upfront in the selection of their idea, knowing it takes 10+ years to build a meaningful business.

When evaluating business ideas, start with these characteristics and adapt them to your own preferences.