Startups · Strategic thinking

How to Evaluate Strategists for Big-A** Idea (And Who to Share With)

Amber Pollard Founder

Last updated on May 25th, 2018

There's a lot of tech business strategists -- likely all of them have valuable insights, but aspects of my startup are unique to "ground-breaking" web-techs like Google. Eye-rollingly arrogant statement? Google succeeded wildly because the brains it were just as big as the idea itself -- I'm claiming a big idea that I need serious strategy-brains to help implement.

How can I find people who can talk about this level of strategy?



When I created this post I hadn't yet heard of Pravda, now all of my friends are people are asking if I've heard of it because it correlates to what I've been working on for a year. Musk says he wants to create something like it--I anticipate many instances of more "big news and competition" by big players. I'm creating a second "reader response" layer of the internet used to rate and respond to journalism. It's a "big a** idea" because successfully implementing a second Internet layer can change how everything is done on-line, potentially disrupting advertising revenue and content distribution models and who knows what else. Running a second layer of the internet could interrupt Facebook, Google and other big players. The more user traction I get, the more likely my company would capture the interest (and counter strategies) of certain people who have taken an interest in these issues: Andreessen, Musk, Zuckerberg, Pichai. I'm not looking to be bought out as an exit strategy. I'm a small fish in a pond with huge fish and I want to compete. Anyone here that doesn't think I'm loony is who I want to hear from.

I launch my MVP in a month and start gathering data-sets about readers which I believe I can translate into cash flow rather quickly as I'd be gathering unique and valuable data that doesn't overlap with Google Analytics. My "strategy concerns" are:

  • understanding user data concerns in the GDPR era
  • how to enter a market of mass interest and how to position myself properly against the wiles of big players.

I'm trying to figure out how to find people who can advise me and how to connect to high-level strategists who understand the social and "content structural" history of the web.

Thank you!

Jenny Kwan Co-Founder and Technical Lead of Woodlamp Technologies

May 23rd, 2018

Usually the really big ideas are really obvious, and only big because the underlying economic context has shifted - i.e. people tried it before but it didn't work because the market conditions weren't X, but now they are X, so it'll work.

Sometimes the really big ideas are deeply technical and lead to such an increase in product or service quality or accessibility that they shift markets. PageRank is one such innovation. The notion of "good sites/pages point to good sites/pages" is easy, but resolving that graph cycle / "circular reference" took some math.

In either case, it's probably safe to just share it. In the former, there will be general distrust that market conditions have actually become ripe. In the latter, it's too technical for entrepreneurs to "get", or their assessment of level of effort dissuades them from pursuing it.

My novel model of computation replaces the Turing state machine model. That's 75 years of computer science. Bold claim. I speak with engineers and they agree, and then tell me it's too much work to research the performance optimizations to dislodge the current model, so they're not interested. I speak with business people, and um, yeah... I had to work to package it into product/market fit, one that compensates for the starting limitations of the model. I don't emphasize that this initial product is an *initial product*, that the tech powers many more products that are even bigger. I can worry about that in 3 years when the 2nd product is being developed.

Long story short, it's really safe to share.

David M

May 25th, 2018

Start by not referring to it as a "big A** idea" for one. Know your product, distill it into a clear and concise message of what it does and why there is a need for it, and then go out and build. The majority of failures I have seen with entrepreneurs, especially on CoFounder's Lab is that they have the idea but they don't know how to communicate what it is. Then they wonder why they struggle. And usually, in 90% of the cases when they are asked about their business plan, they have none, which circles back to why they are struggling to build their business....because all they have is an idea, or a concept, or a patent...but they don't have a competent plan for implementation. There are a LOT of big ideas out there, most with no strategy or plan to implement...and that is why they fail.

Anas Mousa Cofounder, Research Wiz, Futurist

May 25th, 2018

@Amber Pollard,

I would be cautious of sharing my ideas freely. Just because others don't take it, doesn't mean its not easy enough to be copied by someone.

KAREN RAYMOND Founder who is hunting for a cofounder to bring out a revolutionary product to the population.

Last updated on May 25th, 2018

I do agree with Alyssa on this. If it is original, you probably should have the prototype for your novel idea to demonstrate the process or methodology else it becomes difficult to communicate it to anyone, from your co-founders to your targeted customers.

Firstly start with having clarity of your own idea by asking yourself "why, what and how". This is the part where you have the 'vision' that helps you keep moving forward even when no believes in you. Be mentally prepared to face everything.

Validate your idea and keep refining it(that includes all the research and analysis). I must say that 1 in 100 instances it could be an innovation. Invention is very very rare. That's huge!

Now you have to give it a physical form, something which can be conveyed with clarity and can be perceived by the people whom you present it to. Prepare yourself to answer a ton of questions until your product answers it for you. (I share it to only people whom I trust and can give me genuine feedback, which again helps me refine my idea). Be ready to face the critics.

Once you have the prototype ready, you could patent it and then it is alright for you share your idea over the media. But then again, if it really is 'ground breaking' then you will only have a very limited time to execute your idea, because anyone with the suitable resources could easily bring it to the market before you do. Also rapid imitation of products could dilute the market, thus bringing down your product value. (This brings back to refining your process such that it cannot be easily reverse engineered.) Thus a non compete and non disclosure should help you protect the prototype until it is patented.

Always network with the right people who will help you meet the right people!

At every stage have your objectives clear and your key results aligned to your objectives. Be strategic in every move but be careful not to miss your chances. 'True innovation comes from combination, collaboration and chance.'

That is all from my experience. Good Luck!