A Simple Thought Exercise for Founders to Evaluate their Start-Ups

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

To make things easy from the very beginning, let’s say that a start-up is like a gift box. A very special gift box which is interestingly wrapped from the outside and the more things you put inside it, the more valuable it becomes. Add a kick-ass team inside the gift box, the value increases. Add a great & unique idea into it, the value almost multiplies. Quite amazingly, if you put $1 inside it, the gift box can give you $3, $5 or even $10 in return! Isn’t that great? But wait a minute! Nothing comes that easy. And to build this amazing gift box for the world, you need to put in some efforts.


What kind of efforts? You would ask! Well, what if there is indeed a ‘thought exercise’ meant for the founders that can help them to evaluate their start-ups the best way possible? Yes! You read that right. There is an exercise to evaluate a start-up better. Let’s find out the ways to do it.

· Product Progress

The very first thing you need to consider is your product progress. Let’s consider that building the gift box is your product development. So, do you see any progress in the development of the gift box? Is there a defined way to calculate the progress and keep a track of it? Is the development of your product based on some of your previous assumptions? If yes, then what exactly are those assumptions? To know this better, you can get in touch with a few of your early customers/clients as it will help you to test your assumptions unquestionably.


· Minimum Viable Product – MVP

An MVP will represent the least you can do for your customers and value their needs. It has to work, and work really well. For example, if your gift box is an app, it has to be fluid and easy to use. Mobile and web apps are incredibly competitive area. The chances of you producing something absolutely unique is almost vague. If your app lacks fluidity or has any friction, when a potential customer evaluates it, you will give them just another reason to try out your competitions. So, when you have an MVP in check, you will be able to make quick and necessary changes to your gift box for making it all the more lovable to your customers.


· Past Experiences

Have you created a gift box before? Simply put, do you have a clear understanding of what you are going to do through any of your previous experiences? If you have ventured into this even in the past, have you really considered what worked well before and what didn’t? it is extremely essential to evaluate your past experiences and use those learnings in your new start-up idea. To better decorate your new gift box.


· Competitors

You might think that your gift box is the best and the most good-looking of all. Sadly, this is not the case. There’s a huge chance that somebody else has already designed a similar-looking gift box as yours in the past. So, you need to find more about them. You need to research well about them. You need to know their USPs, their loopholes. You need to have a unique algorithm to make your idea of your gift box different from all of them. And finally, you need to come up with a better solution for all those problems that your competitors couldn’t solve yet.


· Team/Resources

As mentioned above, if you put a kick-ass team inside your gift box, you will increase its value in no time. If you have a great tech team to support your start-up, you will attract business. If your marketing team does the best job of selling your product, you will grow in leaps and bounds. If you get the right kind of funding, you will have greater value for your start-up. If you make use of the best connections, you can scale up higher in the success graph faster. Make sure that you bring the best team and best resources to the table, right from the beginning.


· Being Objective

Finally, are you unbiased about your idea of the gift box that you are developing for the world? Will it be possible for you to modify the gift box or walk away from it completely in case the test results indicate you to do so? If yes, then you are good to go. If not, give it some more time. Learn to be more objective.


And the best way to evaluate your start-up is…


Congratulations! If you have made it this far, you are pretty serious about your start-up idea. And you must be already screaming from inside, ‘I am all set to introduce my gift box to the world’! Isn’t it? Well, apart from all these, the very first thing you need to do is define your needs, and then go ahead with a few negotiations with yourself. Do not stop brainstorming until you feel you are all set to take the next step. Always remember, there’s no excuse for your due-diligence while introducing your start-up. Also, by following this simple ‘thought exercise’, you will be able to pave a successful path for your start-up and make the whole process absolutely worth it for yourself. All the best!




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