YC Startup School Takeaways – Pt. 1

How to evaluate startup idea

(Investor) Should not try to poke a hole in the startup idea, but figure out how to possible win (the not obvious stuff).

When you listen to a startup idea, think about (1) Problem, (2) Solution, (3) Insight.

How to define a problem that we like, and if your idea can fit a few of them:

  • Good problem is populate
  • Good problem is growing
  • Good problem is urgent
  • Good problem is expensive – so that we can make money
  • Good problem is mandatory – people feel they have to solve it.
  • Good problem is frequent

The component that make people change behavior:

Start with problem first, rather than the technology 🙂

Solution In Search of a Problem

Try to avoid of thinking technology first, and find out how to fit them into a problem.

Quick Test:

Problem: Jewelry company finds hard to track to market trend and sales performance, which cannot guide the upstream jewelry design and manufacture.

Solution: digitize the full life cycle, provide an efficient tool to help jewelry company to manage the information flow.

Product: New mechanism of jewelry supply chain + BI tool.

How to talk to users

[The Mom Test] Three caveats during the user interview:

  1. Talk about their life, not your idea
  2. Talk specifics, not hypothetical
  3. Listen, talk less -> bring true factor of users/problem

The 5 questions to ask a user:

  1. What’s the hardest thing about [doing this thing]?
  2. Tell me about the last time you encountered that problem…
  3. Why was that hard?
  4. What, if anything, have you done to try to solve the problem?
  5. What don’t you love about the solutions you’ve tried

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