Idea Tips for Startup Weekend HNL


So you think you have a great start-up idea? The next big thing since microwaveable rice? I know, your idea is perfect and all you need is a couple of developers, designers and maybe a little bit of funding. Well then, what are you waiting for hurry up and sign up here!

Now for those of you who aren’t to sure about your idea, don’t worry you’re not alone. See I’ve noticed an increase in ideas pitched to me ever since our team won Startup Weekend HNL Nov2012 (Shout out to team FanAddicts!!! You guys are the!!!). So why ask me? I’m not a success story (yet), our company didn’t come to fruition (yet),  but that’s when I realized, these individuals are simply doing the first step in the lean process, customer validation. So if you happen to be one of these individuals not sure about your idea please read below and hopefully my tips can help you over the hump to pitch your idea.

Need vs Want

Is your idea something people need or something people might want? I’m going on a limb here by saying it’s much easier for a product to succeed if you build a need for a niche market instead of building a want for a large market. Yeah your limiting your initial growth, but are you even ready to take on a market size of 100,000 consumers? Be honest with yourself and take advantage of what you have to work with. Focus on releasing your minimum viable product and perfect it to cater to your niche market. Stop comparing your ideas to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Stop thinking that if you don’t get 100,000 users in your first 6 months that your company is a failure. If you truly have a need for niche market then run with it, own it and make it yours.

You’re Not Alone!

Research, research, research! Scour the web and see if your idea has already been attempted or is currently in the process of being developed. You would be surprised how many times your idea has been attempted, replicated and trashed. So give up right? Wrong, research and find out what did these companies do wrong and what values do you bring that differ.

Back to the Future

Build for the future consumer. Being the son of a sales and marketing professional I was raised to always market for future clientele. Read up on new technology or trends that might revolutionize the way we live, then see how you can capitalize on them.

Live Aloha

Your going to run into problems with your idea. You will have moments when you second guess your idea and ask this question “What the hell am I doing?” If these moments occur and the only reason your sticking with your idea is that you still believe the pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow…then stop.

For me personally I don’t ever want to work on a start-up idea that I’m not passionate about. I want to create companies and build products that I find interesting and that will have some sort of positive social impact. I don’t want to build companies for the sole purpose of getting rich quick. Yeah so money doesn’t run my life and I don’t drive Audi A4 (yet), but I have the opportunity to wake up every morning living and breathing aloha. I have fun and work hard on my dream and vision, so should you.

~ Bryan Butteling (SWHNL Organizer)