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How to generate compelling startup ideas :: with Mike Anderson

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Mike Anderson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeandersonjr/) and I discuss all-things startup ideation in the modern era. In light of this being the topic of Week 1 of Prota’s new incubator (https://www.protaventures.com/labs), we dive into what makes a good idea, what makes a bad idea, how and why to integrate your idea with your own skills and knowledge of a market, how to reverse-engineer ideas based on what investors and consumers want, why finding startup ideas has changed over the years, and the importance of maintaining vision and grit through challenging seasons of startup life.

You can watch this episode below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts (search for “Ventures”).


1:24 - Tee-up for the episode, start of the new incubator program

1:39 - Is it too late for people who are just hearing about this incubator to apply?

2:13 - Where can people to go sign-up? https://www.protaventures.com/labs 

2:30 - Startup Ideation. What is a good startup idea? How has that changed?

3:00 - Question for Mike: What makes a good startup idea?

4:05 - Will’s talking point about founder-market fit and solving market needs. Don’t solve other people’s theoretical problems.

6:14 - VCs will publish their request for startups / areas they are looking to invest in. See, for example, https://www.ycombinator.com/rfs 

6:48 - How has the startup game changed in light of evolving technology? What hasn’t changed?

8:21 - “Why now” changes in light of Web3 and various decentralization technologies and approaches.

9:15 - If you can “theoretically” need it vs. “I need it right now and would pay for it”

10:34 - When thinking about ideas, you can’t reduce it to its component parts.

11:10 - What are the ideas that are more compelling to Mike when he gets pitched ideas? (see the wave coming)

12:52 - New technology (like a blockchain) allows new ways to disrupt common Web2 companies like Uber/Amazon/etc…

13:50 - “Your margin is my opportunity”

14:10 - Your idea never stops

15:08 - It’s important to “go” and “ship” and provide value for your customers. Speed of shipping is highly correlated with success.

16:50 - The importance of making the startup building process “fun”