Avoid These Tempting Startup Ideas - Y Combinator
Dalton and Michael discuss 'Tarpit ideas', and it's very interesting to hear their definition and insight into ideas which they feel should be avoided.
Firstly, they recommend building products for businesses - not consumers.
With consumers, the bar is extremely high - and timing plays a big factor.
They also share some of their experience with apps that help you 'find new things', like restaurants, or concerts through a friend network - or some machine learning recommendation system.
People say they would love to be able to discover new experiences - so you know people want it, and you want to build an app that helps them discover it.
But the sad reality is, the 'magical place' doesn't exist.
There are a finite number of restaurants that are open tonight, and you wanting there to be a better option, doesn't mean that a better option exists.
Everyday people go on Yelp and search for restaurants, and don't like what they find - but that doesn't mean there are restaurants they don't know about, it just means that what exists is not sufficient, and the same goes for parties, events, etc.
So there is a problem, but it's a physical one that your application won't solve.
Dalton has experience in this from the music discovery side of things. People say they want to discover new music - but in practice, most people like popular music from a small number of bands.
Just like with food - from their experience with DoorDash, they found that most people like to order McDonalds, or something comparable, like a burger from somewhere else.
It turns out most people are not interested in ordering strange dishes or trying something new.
They recommend doing thorough research before investing time and energy into projects like this - because many have gone down these roads before, and their experiences should guide you.
On the other hand, there are startup ideas with a low supply of founders, and a high demand from customers.
These are ideas beyond the typical social network and consumer spaces.
These are ideas which come from deep experience, which I talk about in this group.
Having expertise, and deep insight into a problem is the best place to start.
You might think you're not a startup person - but if you've solved a problem for a large industry, you might be sitting on an idea that is actually in huge demand.
It just doesn't 'look' like the typical app ideas and social networks which we hear about all the time.
Watch the video for their full thoughts, it's worth it!
Robert Boulos
Avoid These Tempting Startup Ideas - Y Combinator
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