Sunday, January 14, 2007

From a Caterpillar to a Butterfly

The New Ventures course is one that I am enjoying a lot. It not only gives me an insight about the entrepreneurial mindset but also lets me explore the business opportunities that exist in the market. The folks in my class either plan to start a new venture in the next few years or would want to work for a start up in the near future.

Here are some excerpts from the text book and the classes:

What can be an entrepreneur you ask? Anyone who wants to experience the deep, dark canyons and ambiguity; and who wants to walk the breathtaking highlands of success. But caution, do not plan to walk the latter until you have experienced the former. - An Entrepreneur

An idea can change your life. But for starting a new venture, it is important that you identify the right opportunity. From the text book assigned to us on New Ventures (Jeffry A Timmons and Stephen Spinelli), here are a few anchors for business opportunities that one identifies:

1. They create or add significant value to a customer or end user.
2. They do so by solving a significant problem, removing a serious pain point, or meeting a significant want or need - for which someone is willing to pay a premium.
3. They have robust market, margin and money making characteristics that will allow the entrepreneur to estimate and communicate sustainable value to potential stakeholder: large enough ( $50 million +), high growth ( 20+ percent),high gross margin ( 40%+) etc
4. They are good fit with the founder(s) and management team at the time and market place- along with an attractive risk-reward balance.

Where are opportunities born?
  • Technology Sea Change
  • Market Sea Change
  • Societal Sea Change
  • Brontosaur Factors
  • Irrational Exuberance

Michael Gordon's 10 Brainstorming rules
1. Define your purpose
2. Choose participants
3. Choose facilitator
4. Brainstorm Spontaneously
5. No criticism, no negatives
6. Record ideas in full view
7 Invent to the "void"
8. Resist becoming committed to one idea
9. Identify the most promising ideas
10. Refine and prioritize

The business plan is obsolete the instant it emerges from the printer. Business Plan should be thought of as a work in progress.!


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