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Frameworks for generating and evaluating entrepreneurial ideas (and should it even exist)?

Idea threads

afana7ev

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Oct 13, 2022
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Introduction​

What I have written may be too obvious to many. But after all, many are here to learn, including me. I just tried to structure my thoughts, I hope you understand my point of view and the framework I proposed. I will be glad to hear your thoughts on this and ways to search for ideas. Thank you!

Hi, everyone!

Currently, I am looking for an idea.
Because you're here, It is more likely that you're in the "I'm looking for an Idea" stage too.

@MJ DeMarco advised us to listen to the market and focus on the following patterns:
  1. Language - "Any complaining, whining, and dissent is a potential opportunity".
  2. Inconvenience - "...the product itself or the process surrounding the product" (I guess "process surrounding the product" might relate to any value in the product value array).
  3. Simplification and/or Easification.
  4. Wants (need - drive from point A to point B, want - do it on the Lambo).
  5. Service gaps: "Crappy customer service is an opportunity".
  6. Geographic arbitrage.
  7. Crowdfeeding Entry violators: "The best opportunities rarely come from joining the crowd, but serving it". Sell shovels during the gold rush.
  8. Value arbitrage
  9. Repurposing
  10. Marketing arbitrage: "...taking an underexposed or under-leveraged asset and using it more effectively."
  11. Overcapitalism: " Overcapitalism is when any business organization abandons its original value-creating mission and instead prioritizes profit - so much so it's disgustingly obvious"
  12. Stakeholder Demotions: "Any company who serves shareholders first is vulnerable to you—the entrepreneur who elevates his customer"
  13. Improvement (and Removement): "Improvement is the muscle behind the Commandment of Need like iron to a workout. Improve something, effectively communicate it, and you will be needed"
These patterns helped me to understand what I should focus on while looking for an idea. You can read more about it in MJ's "Unscripted " book in the chapter "The Commandment of Need".

I started to notice various opportunities almost everywhere. It excited me, but at the same time, it was so confusing, because there were many of them and it was hard to pick one.

"Why don't you just pick any of your ideas and start the execution process?". I asked myself this question too. And here is the answer:
"It is important to identify the specific group of individuals who will benefit from your idea, as it will determine who you will be working with and the value your idea will bring to them."

This is why I believe it is very important.

Identify your market​

Your well-being depends on the well-being of people who value the same things that you do.
Here's the belief that I hope will help you to be more specific about your market and field for looking for the idea.

Simple example.
I have chosen not to pursue opportunities in the alcohol industry because I believe that it could contribute to negative consequences for individuals and society, such as increased alcohol consumption and its related dangers. Therefore, I have chosen not to make it easier for people to access and consume alcohol because it can grow the number of people consuming it.

The bigger the alcohol industry -> the more people become alcoholics -> the more potentially dangerous people there are in society -> the less safe you and your family are in that society.
If making money is your top priority, it may not be an issue for you. However, if it is not, it may be rational for you to assist people you are comfortable working with or at least help those you don't mind working with.
It is also beneficial to know what interests you and the areas in which you have expertise, as it allows you to better understand the difficulties and obstacles that people face within these fields, and how to effectively address them.

My framework​

How am I going to look for ideas:
  1. Identify and focus on markets where you can assist individuals who share similar values as you.
  2. Pay attention to markets that you have experience in or that interest you.
  3. Avoid markets where individuals have values that do not align with your own.
By following these 3 steps, I can determine where to search for ideas. And I will use MJ DeMarco's 13 patterns to pinpoint exactly what I am searching for.
 
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Last edited:

Johnny boy

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Overcapitalism: " Overcapitalism is when any business organization abandons its original value-creating mission and instead prioritizes profit - so much so it's disgustingly obvious"
a value-creating mission ends up with the most profit anyways, which is the beauty of capitalism. Optimizing short term profits that piss off customers is long-term sub-optimal, which is the beauty of capitalism. This is proven by the existence of an opportunity when companies perform this sub-optimal anti-capitalist foolish decision to not focus on value-creation. The pure capitalist would enter into a market against a sub-optimal competitor and would add value to customers with long term thinking and giving them what they want.
 

Black_Dragon43

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a value-creating mission ends up with the most profit anyways, which is the beauty of capitalism. Optimizing short term profits that piss off customers is long-term sub-optimal, which is the beauty of capitalism. This is proven by the existence of an opportunity when companies perform this sub-optimal anti-capitalist foolish decision to not focus on value-creation. The pure capitalist would enter into a market against a sub-optimal competitor and would add value to customers with long term thinking and giving them what they want.
Going into politics, or what’s going on? :eyes:
 

Kevin88660

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Feb 8, 2019
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Introduction​

What I have written may be too obvious to many. But after all, many are here to learn, including me. I just tried to structure my thoughts, I hope you understand my point of view and the framework I proposed. I will be glad to hear your thoughts on this and ways to search for ideas. Thank you!

Hi, everyone!

Currently, I am looking for an idea.
Because you're here, It is more likely that you're in the "I'm looking for an Idea" stage too.

@MJ DeMarco advised us to listen to the market and focus on the following patterns:
  1. Language - "Any complaining, whining, and dissent is a potential opportunity".
  2. Inconvenience - "...the product itself or the process surrounding the product" (I guess "process surrounding the product" might relate to any value in the product value array).
  3. Simplification and/or Easification.
  4. Wants (need - drive from point A to point B, want - do it on the Lambo).
  5. Service gaps: "Crappy customer service is an opportunity".
  6. Geographic arbitrage.
  7. Crowdfeeding Entry violators: "The best opportunities rarely come from joining the crowd, but serving it". Sell shovels during the gold rush.
  8. Value arbitrage
  9. Repurposing
  10. Marketing arbitrage: "...taking an underexposed or under-leveraged asset and using it more effectively."
  11. Overcapitalism: " Overcapitalism is when any business organization abandons its original value-creating mission and instead prioritizes profit - so much so it's disgustingly obvious"
  12. Stakeholder Demotions: "Any company who serves shareholders first is vulnerable to you—the entrepreneur who elevates his customer"
  13. Improvement (and Removement): "Improvement is the muscle behind the Commandment of Need like iron to a workout. Improve something, effectively communicate it, and you will be needed"
These patterns helped me to understand what I should focus on while looking for an idea. You can read more about it in MJ's "Unscripted " book in the chapter "The Commandment of Need".

I started to notice various opportunities almost everywhere. It excited me, but at the same time, it was so confusing, because there were many of them and it was hard to pick one.

"Why don't you just pick any of your ideas and start the execution process?". I asked myself this question too. And here is the answer:


This is why I believe it is very important.

Identify your market​


Here's the belief that I hope will help you to be more specific about your market and field for looking for the idea.

Simple example.
I have chosen not to pursue opportunities in the alcohol industry because I believe that it could contribute to negative consequences for individuals and society, such as increased alcohol consumption and its related dangers. Therefore, I have chosen not to make it easier for people to access and consume alcohol because it can grow the number of people consuming it.

The bigger the alcohol industry -> the more people become alcoholics -> the more potentially dangerous people there are in society -> the less safe you and your family are in that society.

It is also beneficial to know what interests you and the areas in which you have expertise, as it allows you to better understand the difficulties and obstacles that people face within these fields, and how to effectively address them.

My framework​

How am I going to look for ideas:
  1. Identify and focus on markets where you can assist individuals who share similar values as you.
  2. Pay attention to markets that you have experience in or that interest you.
  3. Avoid markets where individuals have values that do not align with your own.
By following these 3 steps, I can determine where to search for ideas. And I will use MJ DeMarco's 13 patterns to pinpoint exactly what I am searching for.
There are frameworks to guide you on the thought process. But it will necessarily include some forms of opinions that you don't have to agree with.

1)Total Addressable market-cant be too small. Proven need with existing thriving businesses
2) Innovation Element. A new way of doing something old, or an Old way of doing something new.
3) Cannot be too dependent on a single factor-single supplier/platform
4) Existing head start, has existing network or experience in the industry
5) Low cost of trial and error. Selling cookies online (low) vs real estate development (high) for example.
6) Ease of monetization
7)Scalability versus Competition. Generally more scalable business has more competition from smart people and smart money because the smartest and most capable people in the world are seldom interested in things that are not scalable. Think of a spectrum of freelancer consultants on one end versus SAAS/franchise fast-food restaurants on the other end. For most people, the sweet spots are probably in the middle.

The more ticks you have the better it is.
 

Black_Dragon43

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I am a capitalist and the topic of capitalism was in the original post. Just clarifying some things
Haha, no, I was referring to the virtue signalling.

It's simply not true that providing the most value is going to lead to the most profit in the long run. And I'd expect you to know this.

Sure, by and large, providing value is a plus and will lead to good outcomes. As is being a good person. And being a bad person and not providing value is likely to lead to bad outcomes - in most situations.

But the ones who make the MOST profit and get the BEST material outcomes, are never the best people.

Joe Girard - Guiness Book of World Records for the best salesman. If his customers said they're from Ozark, used to say his uncle is from Ozark. If his clients were fans of the Chicago Bulls, used to say he's a fan of the Chicago Bulls. I think that's hardly value, and highly manipulative.

You yourself in fact don't practice what you preach. You used to call on random folks and pretend you got their number from their neighbors, then repeat the number with one digit off :rofl: How is tricking people to speak with you adding value to their lives?

How is Microsoft bribing off governments to put Windows PCs into schools "adding value"?

And I could go on and on and on.

But Machiavelli puts it best: "Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires."
 

Johnny boy

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Haha, no, I was referring to the virtue signalling.

It's simply not true that providing the most value is going to lead to the most profit in the long run. And I'd expect you to know this.

Sure, by and large, providing value is a plus and will lead to good outcomes. As is being a good person. And being a bad person and not providing value is likely to lead to bad outcomes - in most situations.

But the ones who make the MOST profit and get the BEST material outcomes, are never the best people.

Joe Girard - Guiness Book of World Records for the best salesman. If his customers said they're from Ozark, used to say his uncle is from Ozark. If his clients were fans of the Chicago Bulls, used to say he's a fan of the Chicago Bulls. I think that's hardly value, and highly manipulative.

You yourself in fact don't practice what you preach. You used to call on random folks and pretend you got their number from their neighbors, then repeat the number with one digit off :rofl: How is tricking people to speak with you adding value to their lives?

How is Microsoft bribing off governments to put Windows PCs into schools "adding value"?

And I could go on and on and on.

But Machiavelli puts it best: "Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires."
I’m just saying “over capitalism” is stupid.
 
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Black_Dragon43

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heavy_industry

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It's simply not true that providing the most value is going to lead to the most profit in the long run.
If we exclude investing and other financial operations and we are strictly talking about a business that makes money by selling a product or service to the public, providing the most amount of (perceived) value is the only strategy that will keep the company alive long term.

As soon as a monopoly thinks they are too big to fail and they start cutting corners and milking money out of their customers, that is the beginning of the end for that company. Their shitty behavior will quickly be noticed by the public, new competitors will arise, and the customers will slowly drift from the old monopoly to the new and better alternatives.

People will always choose the better option. If you want to stay in business, you have to be the better option. There is no other long term strategy for staying alive.
 
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Black_Dragon43

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People will always choose the better option
If they’re rational, and people are usually far from it.

Look at organisations such as Scientology. They thrive by taking control over the entirety of people’s environments. They convince them to cut ties with their family, relatives and so on. Then they depend on the Church for their source of information. It becomes more and more difficult to break away. Why don’t Scientology members choose “the better option”? Usually because it stopped being an option for them long ago - by design!

The whole apparatus is designed not to provide value, but to get people hooked and make them dependent, while getting access to their money and support.

And there are business organisations similar to them — look at Facebook! The place is a mess for the most part, but it’s designed to keep you glued to the screen, scrolling like a mindless drone.

That’s hardly valuable, in fact quite the opposite. If most people would know this and wouldn’t fall for their addictions which they can’t control, they would not use Facebook as much as they do.

Look at politics. Very often people are tasked to do something compromising precisely so then they can be controlled.

A young actress convinces a director to sleep with her, then she blackmails him, and gets the lead role in a movie of his. Very frequently it’s not the best who wins!

So I think you have to be very naive to think that providing value is what wins in the long run.

I think it’s the right balance between providing value and cutting corners that wins. Too much cutting corners and people don’t want to do business with you anymore because they can’t trust you. Too much value focus and you become an easy prey for those who are more cunning than you.
 

eliquid

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You didn't make your point @heavy_industry

What @Black_Dragon43 said was:
It's simply not true that providing the most value is going to lead to the most profit in the long run.

Which is true.

You went on to talk about value and keeping a company alive long-term.. but nothing about profit.

If we exclude investing and other financial operations and we are strictly talking about a business that makes money by selling a product or service to the public, providing the most amount of (perceived) value is the only strategy that will keep the company alive long term.

As soon as a monopoly thinks they are too big to fail and they start cutting corners and milking money out of their customers, that is the beginning of the end for that company. Their shitty behavior will quickly be noticed by the public, new competitors will arise, and the customers will slowly drift from the old monopoly to the new and better alternatives.

People will always choose the better option. If you want to stay in business, you have to be the better option. There is no other long term strategy for staying alive.

I've known plenty of companies that have stayed around long-term, but they don't have a lot of profit.

And I know plenty of companies that have made a ton more profit, and only stuck around a short time.

I believe @Black_Dragon43 statement about the most profit is still holding up as everyone else is talking about "being around long-term", which is not the same as "having the most profit".

I'd rather take $500m profit today and only be in business for 12 months total, then to make $5m profit each year for the next 20 years just to "stay around long-term and have the company be alive".

You don't have to cut corners and be a bad company to make the most profit.
 

heavy_industry

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If they’re rational, and people are usually far from it.
Humans are predictably irrational.
We will always have a proclivity to do what we like, even if it's not the best rational decision. And that's fine. We are not robots.

Real value is different from perceived value.
  • Coca Cola is selling poison to people.
  • McDonald's contributes to the diabetes and obesity crisis of the western world.
  • Facebook is causing mental illness to the general population.
But guess what?
People are free to do whatever the hell they want.

Anytime you observe a consumer behavior that appears to be irrational, take a closer look. It's not irrational at all.
People will only do the things that they believe are providing them with a benefit. Even if that means drinking alcohol or engaging in other stupid behavior. Even if it's not a good decision in the long run.

So I think you have to be very naive to think that providing value is what wins in the long run.
Ok.
I am more than happy to keep my "naive" worldview.

If I feel like a business is not providing real value to people, I don't want to be in that business.

If I don't deserve the money, I don't F*cking want it.
 
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Black_Dragon43

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Anytime you observe a consumer behavior that appears to be irrational, take a closer look. It's not irrational at all.
People will only do the things that they believe are providing them with a benefit. Even if that means drinking alcohol or engaging in other stupid behavior. Even if it's not a good decision in the long run.
That’s true, my point is simply that people can be manipulated into doing a lot of things that aren’t in their best interest and they wouldn’t agree to had they NOT been manipulated in the first place.

Easy example from cam girl studios. Some cam girls get a “owned by MAN’S NAME” tattooed on their body. Imagine that one of those girls accepted willingly to get the tattoo under the impression that that man will marry her (vulnerable position, desperate, etc.). Then she’s convinced to pose naked.

Then imagine that she wants to leave… where will she go? What man would accept to date her now that she has “owned by MAN’S NAME” on her body? Who will hire her or take her seriously if the naked content she produced is released publically, or worse shown to her relatives?

She may not have thought this through before, but now her options and possibilities for change are a lot more limited than before.

And the same is true in many other areas of business. The free market doesn’t solve such issues at all. The free market will not lead to people making better choices, when it’s precisely the actions of some market participants that are meant to “lock down” or severely limit the rational options of the other party.

The so called “free market” becomes the playground of those smart and strong enough to know how to reel their customers in and keep them dependent and weak, so they continue to need their services and choose them over other solutions. That’s not the environment where the highest value always wins.

I think providing value is very important, but I’m just against being an ideologue about it, because it’s not the only relevant thing to creating a successful company that maximises profits.
 

heavy_industry

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@Black_Dragon43

In both of your comments you gave a bunch of sinister examples of corruption, manipulation, and behaviors that are way below the minimum ethical standard for a human being.

I don't understand what those examples have to do with the simple fact that perception of value is the main driver of a free market. If people like what you sell, they buy. If you want to stay in business, create value.

It's as simple as that.

There are many other things that have to be done correctly in order for the company to stay afloat and remain profitable, but providing value should always be at the very center of any business model.

Unless you believe that hurting people is a good thing. That makes you a criminal, not an entrepreneur.
 

Black_Dragon43

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@Black_Dragon43

In both of your comments you gave a bunch of sinister examples of corruption, manipulation, and behaviors that are way below the minimum ethical standard for a human being.

I don't understand what those examples have to do with the simple fact that perception of value is the main driver of a free market. If people like what you sell, they buy. If you want to stay in business, create value.

It's as simple as that.

There are many other things that have to be done correctly in order for the company to stay afloat and remain profitable, but providing value should always be at the very center of any business model.

Unless you believe that hurting people is a good thing. That makes you a criminal, not an entrepreneur.
So do we live in a society without criminals?

If we don't, then why are you talking to me about how one should behave if we lived in a perfect society?

I see lots of criminals around... you mentioned some, Coca Cola, Facebook, and so on. They sell poison to the people and convince them to buy it and enjoy it. Some of your competitors are criminals too. And sometimes in order to compete against those people you will also need to resort to some underhanded tactics - otherwise, you and all the value you intend to provide, will fail.

I go back to what Machiavelli said: "Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires."

Or, in other words, if you always behave as you would in a perfect society, you'll get taken advantage of by those who aren't good people. This isn't an invitation to be a bad person - it's an invitation to be realistic and understand that the world is nuanced, and if you want to succeed, you need to be aware of that nuance, and not blindly follow any ideology.
 
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Kevin88660

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Real value is different from perceived value.
  • Coca Cola is selling poison to people.
  • McDonald's contributes to the diabetes and obesity crisis of the western world.
  • Facebook is causing mental illness to the general population.
Rather these are some side effects of successful value creating business.

Macdonald is moving to have less calories options like salad and corns. You have Coke zero variant, which is a far less evil than the older sugar heavy version.
 

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