The only way to truly prove that a business idea is good is to launch it and make it successful. What is much, much easier is proving that a business idea is a bad one.
“Do you think investors are stupid?”
You would not believe how many times I have posed this question to my clients. And every time they talk about approaching investors with “quick wins” and meaningless metrics, I am forced to ask them again.
“Those times when you get up early and you work hard, those times when you stay up late and you work hard, those times when you don’t feel like working, you’re too tired, you don’t want to push yourself, but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream.” – Kobe Bryant
You’ve maybe heard the terms “dumb money” and “smart money.” If this is your first rodeo, “dumb money” refers to capital from investors who provide nothing but the cash, ie. they have no experience or connections in your industry, while “smart money” comes from investors who can offer you their rolodex and years of experience in addition to their funds.
Unfortunately, smart money is by and large a myth.
All startups are based on assumptions, and most have devastating assumptions that make the product or service impossible to square. If you have a good startup, it doesn’t mean all your assumptions are right. It means that you’ve done everything you can to find out which of your assumptions are wrong as soon as possible. And once you’ve done that, you don’t just quit and do something else.
If you have a problem, do you honestly care HOW it gets done, as long as it works? Spoiler alert: the correct answer is no. Sure, you probably have conditions of satisfaction — the solution can’t cost more than X dollars, or require new software systems, or disrupt your supply chain. This is all a part of what success looks like. Once that’s defined, if your team can get the job done with helper monkeys in cute little vests, more power to them.