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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Frameworks for coming up with startup ideas 👇 "The best way to come up with startup ideas is to lead an interesting life & be curious. If you put yourself in a position to have problems—if you're at a company, if you start a family, etc—you'll be in a position to have ideas."
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Framework 0: "Put yourself in position to viscerally feel problems that matter to other ppl at scale e.g. most college students focus on their own problems: The Pizza Problem. The Tinder Problem. The Friday Night Problem. Go work at, say, Chevron & get exposed to new problems."
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @jessegenet
Framework 1: When they go high, you go boring Pick something that’s so boring (but hard/big) that other people just *won’t* do it. Something that's neither flashy nor sexy to tell others about. Example: + packaging. Inspired by my podcast w/
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Framework 2: Search for founder market fit. Given skills, expertise, & relationships—where do you have an unfair advantage to build a biz? What's the product that you're born to build, the company that if you didn't build, no one else would (or not in the same way?)
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Consider founder archetypes: Younger founders should take market risk (market that are small or doesn't exist yet) Older founders should take execution risk (market is very clear & execution, expertise, and relationships are the differentiator).
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Framework 3: Leverage enabling technologies Snap wouldn't have been possible w/o smartphone cameras Youtube wouldn't have been without broadband Wearables wouldn't have been without airpods What new technology decrease friction somewhere else? What's now abundant & scarce?
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @davegoldblatt
Framework 4: "Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time...Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps." - Ev Williams "basically either take a human need from -1 to 1, or 1 to 10000000000" -
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Framework 5: Unlock new supply using a fixed physical asset or new digital asset FB unlocked new supply of content Airbnb unlocked new supply of residence Uber unlocked new supply of taxis Instacart extends existing supply
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Things to consider: The best ideas sound terrible at first But this a good thing (it means there’s less competition) Also, the truly good ideas don’t sound like they’re worth stealing (so don’t be afraid to share your idea with others)
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Things to consider: Don't hide your ideas. Startup ideas are free unless, of course, they're good & genuinely novel. They are rarely ever really good, so the feedback you receive is probably worth more than the benefits of keeping the idea private.
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Erik Torenberg
Things to consider: Ideation: Tops-down (A new technology or regulation came out & I want to methodologically navigate what can be uniquely built as a result) Bottoms-up (I experienced this problem, & built X to solve it) Both can work, but there's a stigma against tops-down
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
For tops-down you need to: Celebrate "distance traveled" on an idea rather than landing on an idea. Why is this important? They meet ppl who ask them, "what are you doing?" They panic, "well, I don't want to be a dabbler for the rest of my life" & pick an idea. Don't rush!
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
For tops-down, also don't get stuck in the clouds! Tops-down often struggle b/c they focus too high-level & long-term, not enough on what's in front of them. Instead, find the little thing you can execute against for the next few months....that could lead to this larger thing.
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Things to consider: Don't pursue double miracle startups (or "bank shots"). A startup miracle is the key difficult thing you need to pull off for your startup to work. Startups should only require one miracle, not two. As told here:
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Things to consider: “There are no bad ideas. There are only early ideas… They’ll all happen. I’ve become convinced...Every smart person that comes in here with a crazy idea, it’s all going to happen at some point. They will all happen. It’s just a question of when.”- Andreessen
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Of course, being early is the same as being wrong practically speaking, so it's worth understanding why is the right time: Is there an emerging technology? shift in consumer behavior? new regulation?
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @nikillinit
Other avenues to consider, all from -Insert liquidity where liquidity didn’t exist (e.g. Opendoor) -enable new SMBs in that area/allow ppl to go independent (e.g. Shopify) -Reduce anxiety (e.g. Hims, Nurx) -New regulations (Oscar w/ ACA, Plaid w/ Dodd Frank)
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Things to consider: "The best ideas are usually either very different from existing companies in one meaningful way or totally new If it takes more than a sentence to explain what you’re doing, it’s almost always a sign that it’s too complicated"
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Things to consider: Navigate the Idea Maze: Assume every idea's been tried, & ask why now or why you would have a different outcome. Q's to ask: Why'd it fail? What were the assumptions? Why are mine different? How is the world different in a way that may change the outcome?
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Consider distribution & GTM for different kinds of ideas:
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Imagine a world where we had decks, post-mortems, etc on all startups Founders would avoid minefields, build on other ppl's ideas, & better idea mazes In short, we'd have so much more innovation And yet we don't, b/c ppl pursue local maxima at expense of global maxima
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Erik Torenberg Mar 28
Replying to @eriktorenberg
FIN/ If you have any frameworks for coming up with startup ideas I'd love to hear.
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Erik Torenberg Mar 30
Replying to @Alex_Danco
When what was previously scarce becomes abundant, look for the constraints that go away & what 2nd order effects might emerge It was easy to predict online ratings—it was hard to predict Airbnb It was easy to predict taxi-hailing apps—it was hard to predict Uber -
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Erik Torenberg Mar 30
Replying to @eriktorenberg
Another framework: Look at ideas that were tried before but failed. There was a board game that was Monopoly for failed 90s ideas The "stupid" failed ideas were: social networking & games, reviews & group discount buying Good ideas pan out eventually
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Erik Torenberg Apr 8
Replying to @eriktorenberg
"Is this idea I'm pursuing a local maxima?" Bad local maxima: You don't have unfair domain expertise, relationships, or a special insight—or the market is anomalously bad Good local maxima: You have a proprietary advantage in a good market—nobody can build that company like you
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Erik Torenberg Apr 9
Replying to @eriktorenberg
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