I have a business idea, now what?

So you have an awesome idea. Maybe it will change the world. Maybe it will make you rich.

Maybe it will lead to heartache. Or it could be all of the above! What next? Consider these tips to help you on your journey:


1. Commit

Developing this idea will take everything you’ve got. I’m not kidding. Are you so convinced that can’t not do it? If you feel it deep inside, and you have to act on it, keep reading.

2. Define

What problem are you solving? For whom? This has to be clearly defined in one sentence. Is it a problem you personally feel? If someone else is already solving the problem, what makes your idea different or better?

3. Validate

Is your idea really better than what exists? Go prove it. Show people a demo, listen to them, watch them interact with a prototype. Are they so impressed that they will part with their money for it?

4. Iterate

A startup business doesn’t have a business model, it’s searching for a business model. Don’t waste time on a formal plan, use a lean canvas to test your ideas. You must iterate & validate your idea repeatedly.

5. Fail

Embrace and celebrate the fact that your first idea might fail. Failure is all about learning. Fail often and fail forward. Think about Edison, Dyson and the Wright brothers crashing their test planes hundreds of times.

6. Pivot

Be prepared to kill good ideas, so that the great ones may surface. Steve Jobs returned to Apple and killed off the Newton PDA instead of trying to fix it. When the time was right, he launched the iPhone instead.

7. Grind

Launching your idea will be exciting, stressful and incredibly demanding. And after all the hard work and after your big launch day, that’s when the real work begins. Be prepared for seriously intense work long after you’ve launched.

8. Reflect

Jobs’ is famously quoted as wanting to “put a dent in the universe”. One of my spiritual teachers observed that Steve wasn’t the One denting the universe, but his intention mattered. What’s your intention?

9. Inspire

Eventually we all leave this world. Whenever that moment comes, we will be in the middle of something, so conduct your business ethically and with excellence. Inspire people, leave a legacy.

10. Enjoy

I started my design business around 13 years ago. With thanks to God it’s been an incredible ride. Throughout it all, I try to remain grateful and mindful that any success is from Him.

This post is heavily inspired by Steve Blank’s Lean Canvas, Y-Combinator’s How to Start A Startup free course and my friends Baker Tamory, Syed Ahmed, Riaz Lalla, Tariq Sheik. Also, I’m currently enrolled in Stanford’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate Program. They do a much better job at explaining everything.