A Serial Entrepreneur’s Guide to Uncovering Awesome Startup Ideas
Seth Epstein, Founder and CEO SocialStay, former Founder and CEO of FUEL (acquired by Razorfish) and Emmy Award winner for his work on the X-Games, recently spoke at UC Santa Barbara as part of the Technology Management Program’s Distinguished Lecture Series. His talk was especially intriguing, as he attended UCSB, but dropped out to start a clothing design company.
In this 8-minute video excerpt from his recent talk, Seth describes the practical, hands-on methodology that he uses on a day-to-day basis to identify and vet his entrepreneurial ideas.
You can watch Seth describe how he discovers great startup ideas below or on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/Da9vj6nAgsI
Chaos By Design
Seth is a design-oriented entrepreneur, with little desire to document details. In his entrepreneurial Tribe, he is the Shaman. Even though he is not process oriented, he has developed a simple, yet methodical approach to identifying, cataloging and vetting his entrepreneurial ideas.
In my UC Santa Barbara Entrepreneurial course, I require the students to submit a venture idea every week. My goal is to encourage them to open their eyes to the myriad of startup opportunities that surround them. To help guide the students’ evaluation of the feasibility and merit of each idea, I require them to complete a one-page form. I was intrigued to learn from Seth’s talk that he utilizes a similar approach to capture and evaluate his ideas.
Seth notes that, “Ideas are a lot like exercising. The more you play around with ideas and you write them down, the better. The quality of your ideas is actually going to improve.”
Seth’s approach to identifying great ideas is similar to the startup equation I describe in How To Identify A Great adVenture Opportunity: (Passion + Solvable Problem) * Sufficient Reward = Great adVenture. Per Seth, emerging entrepreneurs should, “Find problems that need solving… that resonate (with you). Find problems in the area you are passionate about. Just do stuff that you love to do because the problems will come find you… if you are entrepreneurial.”Continued on the next page