This is one of my favorite quotes.
Maybe there is a simple formula for building a successful venture. In my opinion the chances of succeeding as a startup is a function of four things 1) the number of input that you are able to obtain in your search for a scalable business model, 2) the quality of these input,
3) your team’s ability to transform input into actions and 4) the size of the opportunity that you are working on – meaning the quality of your idea and the size of the market you are trying to address:
P(success) = ∫(∑Input*Qinput)*∆transform input to action
Size of opportunity
Entrepreneurship is about handling uncertainty and turning uncertainty into real proofs in terms of people committing resources into your venture – either by being willing to try out your service or product, by being willing to commit resources to develop your solution further or by investing money in your venture.
I believe you should focus on the top line of the formula. Focus on the top line will slowly but securely shape the size of your opportunity. The first part you should focus on is simply to get a lot of input – so start talking to people and ask them about their opinion. No matter if you think what they’re saying is nonsense. If 10 people are saying the same “nonsense” – there may be some truth to this.
A simple way to work is to make your own input index.
The first part of your input index is to make a list of how many people you have talked to about your venture, how many people who have tried your solution etc.
The second part is rating the quality of all input. Make a rating system e.g. give 5 to people who have tried your solution and gave you feedback and 0,5 to people with whom you have only talked to about your solution, and who gave you very little feedback. You can do your own rating on how you see different kind of input as validation or not. But be careful – always rate input where people have committed resources higher than people who were just willing to spend an hour of their time. Then simply multiply each of the interaction with the quality of that interaction based on your own rating. Then sum up the whole thing. If your input index is below 200 you still have some road to cover.
Start-ups do not die due to lack of capital they die due to lack of speed in obtaining input and turning them into action.
Therefore: do not waste a day without getting external input.