How to Come up with Good Ideas for Startups by Lucky3448

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									How to Come up with
 Good Startup Ideas

           Trip Adler
   Co-founder and CEO, Scribd

  Founders Institute Presentation
         May 19, 2009
The Process of
Startup Ideation
The Scribd Story (SS)
The Trip Method (TM)
Idea A

Nowigo - a ridesharing
Lesson: Just because you
 have an idea, it doesn‟t
 mean it‟s a good idea
Idea A-B

Nowigo - transportation
 search engine +
 ridesharing service
Lesson: Work on
 something that has
 potential to be huge
Idea C

Hulist - Craigslist for
Lesson: Work on
 something that has a built-
 in mechanism for getting
 huge fast
Idea D

Moobub - Spam-your-
Lesson: If you try it and it
 doesn‟t work - and this
 causes you to lose
 confidence in the idea -
 then stop working on it
Idea E

1-800-ASK-TRIP - A call
 center for everything
Lesson: This idea is
Idea F

Almost Twitter - Rate-your-
Lesson: Bounce your ideas
 off smart and creative
 people; get them involved
 in the creative process
Idea G
(Scribd Beginning)
A way for academics to
 publish online more easily
“The YouTube for
 academic publishing”
Idea G-H

A way for academics,
 creative writers, or anyone
 to publish online more
“The YouTube for all kinds
 of writing”
Idea G-H-I

 A way for academics, creative
 writers, or anyone to publish
 online more easily by
 uploading documents sitting on
 their hard drive and displaying
 them in a web browser
 “The YouTube for documents”
Idea G-H-I-J
 A way for academics, creative
 writers, or anyone to publish online
 more easily by uploading
 documents sitting on their hard drive
 and displaying them in a web
 browser, and drive traffic to them
 from Google, social sites, the Scribd
 community, etc.
 “The YouTube for documents”
Idea G-H-I-J-K-L-M-….
(Scribd Today)
 Many more major ideas along
 the way: iPaper, groups, API,
 mobile reading, ads in
 documents, Scribd Store, etc.
 A social publishing company
 that aims to liberate the written
 word by democratizing the
 publishing process for
 everyday people
The Trip Method of
Startup Ideation
 The basic idea: A startup is not just
 one idea, but a series of ideas put
 What this means
    Just come up with an idea and start working
     on it
    Constantly keep pushing yourself to come up
     with new ideas
    If you come up with a better idea
     - And it fits into the original, then merge
     - And it‟s totally different, then switch (okay early
          on, much harder later)
The TM: Basic Principles
 Push yourself to be creative
    Usually two hour bursts once a week
    Stop everything to „be creative‟

 Move your best idea forward 90 hours
 per week
  Building it, researching it, promoting it, etc.
 Trust your instincts and don‟t worry
 about others‟ opinions
  Always evaluate, combine concepts, and re-
    If your gut tells you an idea is good, then it‟s
Trip Method Unit (TMU)

                  Idea B is better       Idea B

                    Idea B is good and
                                              Idea A-B
Idea A   Idea B     related to idea A

                  Idea B is bad
Putting the TMUs together:
Path to Success
     Quality of idea



              B                  E                         J

                       C                       H

                                                                = TMU
Getting Started
   Think of something you need/want

   Think of something others need/want

   Figure out what‟s broken and how can you fix it

   Find out what‟s working for other companies and apply it in a new way

   Invent a new technology and figure out how to apply it

   Think of a marketing/growth strategy and then fit a product into it
How to Evaluate an Idea

   What other people think (probably better if they don‟t like it, but not always)

   User data; reaction by the user / customer

   Success of similar ideas

   Sounds different / weird / radical

   Potential to change direction / leaves options open

   Has a way to get big fast

   Potential to be something huge / game changing

   Something you have the resources / knowledge / expertise to build

   Your gut feeling - what matters the most - needs to be developed through TM
More Ideation Lessons
 Having a great idea is often about
  connecting the dots
 Creative ideas often form from intersection
  of two people‟s thinking
 If any idea seems too good to be true to
  you, then get started
 It‟s often about simple innovations - taking
  existing elements and repackaging them
 Don‟t pay too much attention to what‟s
  trendy, but learn from what‟s working for
More Ideation Lessons
 Being a good founder is a
 learned skill - through trial and
 Commitment is good but
 always challenge your current
 Hard work + creativity + TM =

Trip Adler

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