How to choose a business idea for an IT startup

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Some time ago we launched a beta version of the site - an electronic queue in the cloud. We want to release a series of articles, having read which, a novice businessman (startup) will be able to study typical mistakes on the example of our organization, which will allow him to get around the rake that we have already stepped on.

This is the first article in the series. In it, I will describe my main problems and mistakes, which are worth paying attention to, despite their simplicity. If you think that you’re pretty good at starting a business from scratch, don’t read this article.

At the start, many have a similar situation:

- There is no business idea
- There are no confident programming skills, typesetting, design (this item is only for the IT sector, it is present in other areas, only with a different list of skills)
- There is no start-up capital

Each person has a moment at which you want to drop everything and start your own business. I, despite the good work now, such a desire appeared 3 years ago and still has not disappeared. At that time, I was still at university and naively believed that he would be able to give me some practical knowledge and skills, but, alas, there is nothing to boast of besides systemic thinking. And now, more recently, I launched the site of a free electronic lineup - Picktime .

What is PickTime?
PickTime is an attempt to get rid of annoying queues and stupid phone calls. The status of the project at the moment is Beta. The main idea is that anyone who wants to book a table in a restaurant, make an appointment with a doctor or go to the hairdresser can do this without taking his eyes off the computer. Enough to go to Picktime, find an institution of interest and book a convenient time in a couple of clicks. These establishments appear on the site as simple as possible. It is enough for the owner to go in and go through a simple (!) Registration. Indicate the time of work and the interval - and that’s all, you are already in search and people can come to you. It is important for the owner of the establishment to understand that he must serve the customers who came through PickTime in the first place (at the time they appointed). Some of you may recall that some time ago Yandex launched a similar service. However, I want to note that in order for you to be able to sign up via the Internet you need to perform quite a lot of actions, including signing a contract (and someone may not even have a Legal Entity). With us, everything is simple, 5 minutes and everything is ready.

During a survey of friends and acquaintances, I collected the following sayings:

“I have money, so I can create a successful business at any time.”

“Oh yes, open your own business - 5 minutes. I’ll finish the project and start right away. ”

“To start today or tomorrow is not important, I will have time yet. While I’m sitting well, I won’t strain. ”

“Change something in your life and start living not according to the pattern? Not today.".

These phrases (and their various formulations), sadly, accounted for 90% of the responses. Perhaps if you have 5-10 million, it is quite easy to buy a franchise of some popular company and, with minimal risk, get a pretty good income. If not make a mistake. Let’s say, with a choice of a place where to open another SubWay restaurant or a network pub. Only this is not at all 5 minutes, and it is important to start today. Today, precisely because tomorrow there may no longer be this money or the franchise will rise in price, or enthusiasm will fade. The franchise option is cumbersome anyway. At least because it is all the same work "for uncle", only for a larger and with a very passionate area of ​​responsibility. What to do for those who want to do something of their own, for the soul? The basis of such a business is an idea. It is important to note that 90% of success depends on the choice of an idea. In my opinion,

The main criteria of "interesting" ideas:
-Customization monetization
What a Life. or close to that I will

explain each point,

Mass.This paragraph seems to be extremely simple, but, using the example of my friends, I noticed that not everyone understands this requirement correctly. Massively - this does not mean to your class at school, or "to all the painters," not to "all tractor drivers." No, of course, groups of people also need a good site, thematic Wikipedia, maybe convenient applications on their phone. Do you really think that all 15,000 painters download your application? How many of them have a telephone? Namely, on the OS under which the application is written? Ok, let it be 5 percent. 300 people? No really? For the sake of such an audience is it worth spending half a year on a prototype, and then a lifetime? It seems not. Massively - is, ideally, to everyone and everyone. A minimum - through one. Potentially, of course. I hope everyone understands that the sex of the world’s population will not immediately start using your site? Yes, you can work with it,potentials directly affect the quality of the idea . And by the way, if suddenly, an investor or investment fund will pay attention to your startup, this criterion will be the first by which your startup will be evaluated.

Novzin.Often people do not understand that they subconsciously copy other people's thoughts, ideas, approaches. No, of course, you need to look at the experience of other companies. Why go on the same rake twice. Russian Kickstarter, localized by Facebook. All of these projects are good. At first. After some time, their main competitor, from which the main idea was borrowed, comes to Russia. The target audience begins to choose them, and your creation, slowly, but begins to die. An example is VK. Yes, perhaps there is its own target audience (students + 1-3 course). But, look at the statistics, more and more people are choosing Facebook instead of VK. Even the abundance of advertising does not scare people away. Why is this happening? Complex issue. In my opinion, this is because the creator of the “idea” develops it, feeling the trends. You will often turn around and adopt the main innovations. The result is a localized fake, which only creates the appearance of pleasure from use. For some reason, few people try, but,why copy? Find the contacts of the creator of the idea and invite him to open a regional division of his company. You will have some freedom of action and choice, moreover, you will not meet your foreheads with competitors (and if you do, then you will immediately take a winning position).

Monetization.Many startup tutorials teach a novice businessman not to think about monetization. It often happens that the entire potential of the organization is invisible and monetization, at an early stage, kills the project, however, this does not mean that you do not need to think about ways to make a profit. Business needs to develop something. If you are still reading and, at the same time, think that, after half a year, after the launch of the project (any startup is a project) you can buy a Porshe Panamera and an apartment in rubles - finish reading the hub, it still will not help. In general, all this is a lie. Everyone lies (C). You need to think about monetization, but you should not focus on one option that was originally outlined. A startup should be flexible, and accordingly, plans should change depending on many factors. Few people change monetization schemes after starting a startup, but in vain. You need to try different options, analyze, try others, make a choice, but do not stop analyzing. It is worth standing for half a year without movement and, all, the train left. The main audience becomes bored, there is an outflow of customers, a decline in team motivation, everything collapses.

Something from life that is sorely lacking. Quite often, a successful business is obtained from some kind of problem that the founder encountered, but did not find a ready-made solution. This is how great startups come about. If you chase after money or popularity - the focus is not on that. Not on the issue. The output is often not a functional product. Time spent, power, maybe even money. It's a shame. For example, I took as a basis what annoys me. I do not like to wait and waste time in the void. As a special case of this - the queue. We are trying to overcome it.

Summarizing the above, what you do not need to do when creating a startup:
- DO NOT be afraid
- DO NOT drag on creating a dream company
- DO NOT copy-paste other people's ideas
- DO NOT blindly follow the plan
- You do not need to put everything on the product for a very small number of users.

What is better to try:
- Participate in the campaigns of companies for startups, it helps a lot. For example, Amazon and Habrahabr have pretty enticing programs for starting a business.
- Use crowdfunding. That is why we are here. If you do not like something in an article, storytelling style, website - write, discuss, criticize. This helps a lot, although criticism is not always pleasant.
- Try it and it will work out. Only wisely. We tried whether you succeed - you decide.

Founder of .

ps I hope at least someone will find the article useful.

For those who read to this place - a bonus, cat.

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What to talk about in the next article

  • 44.1% Which legal entity to choose to register an IT startup? 95
  • 55.8% Where and how to find the first customers? 120
  • 41.3% Ideas, Strategic Development Options for IT Startups 89
  • 9.7% A bit about the concept, the idea of ​​PickTime 21
  • 27.4% Startup Information Security Analysis 59
  • 64.6% CEO and startup promotion with a minimum budget of 139

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