Introduction to Opportunities Topic 3

Researching opportunities is potentially endless. There are always new ideas to explore, new people to speak with. But endless research is not your objective, so let me suggest a few things: be lean, be agile, and figure out a workflow.

Be Lean

“Lean” is about reducing waste. So it’s not about not spending money. It is about not wasting money, or anything else tangible, like, raw materials, parts, or other resources. But also consider the intangible, such as opportunity cost, time, human capital, or even “passion” expended. Endless research, whether that be by customer interviewing, prioritizing ideas, or running experiments that doesn’t propel you forward is wasteful. If it costs you less time and money to produce and sell a product, than it does to do “market research,” maybe go build the product.

The goal of opportunity discovery is to generate enough evidence for an idea to provide you the confidence that you’re not wasting your time, money, passion, and so on. What we’re trying to prevent is 3 years from now you are shutting down your business because there was no market for your idea. You look back and think, “if only I had interviewed potential customers.” Believe me, that is what happens to the vast majority of businesses started everyday.