[Show NC] Ideaspace - Finding Problems Worth Solving

  • Coincidentally, it seems that there was a post a hours back on how to find a startup Idea. As someone who has been involved in the startup space for more than 10 years (I founded Proto.in and showcased companies such as Druvaa, Myntra, Ixigo, Stayzilla etc to name a few) - Im noticing this trend where everyone seems to be chasing whatever is getting funded that week.

    Having run In50hrs (www.in50hrs.com) for the past four years, and understanding the mindset of entrepreneurs who are starting off, we decided that we will build out some tools that will encourage entrepreneurs to think in the right direction. An "Idea" or a RFP didnt seem like a good idea as there is no commitment to it and folks start implementing it, rather than thinking about the problem. And It also seemed that solving a problem seemed like a better approach to building worthwhile companies, rather than building solutions and finding problems.

    So we've built and launched Ideaspace (or atleast v1.0) of it. Since it is in Beta, we are still manually approving users, but it shouldn't take more than a few hours to have your account active.

    You can sign up here - if you'd like to just browse the seeded problem statements without signing up, you can take a peek here

  • Nifty! Just signed up.

  • @rudimk Awesome. I presume you were able to login. Hope to see you there at IdeaSpace :)

  • So it seems one can't post a problem just yet - there's a waiting period for a week, where one is supposed to analyze how to draft problem statements. Personally, I really like that sort of path :D

  • @rudimk Yep. Came off with a bit of R&D. We realized there is a bit of an onboarding process and we have to get folks to think problems, rather than ideas. The one week helps. We just saw our first set of users crossing the one week mark, and they have points to post problems, and its making very much sense :)

  • @vijayanands said:

    Im noticing this trend where everyone seems to be chasing whatever is getting funded that week

    Precisely, that's what saddens me as well

    Coincidentally, it seems that there was a post a hours back on how to find a startup Idea

    I guess it was me

    But I also want a part of India to move away from the whole "Problem-Solution" thing. I think that is really limiting us in creativity and hence limiting us in creating great startups. Creativity is orthogonal to problems and solutions. There are great startups who are already creating great solutions for problems. But there must be another group who focus on the creativity. Its about creating new experiences for users for enjoying the life in a new way

    We can force fit every startup to a "Problem-Solution" paradigm, but that's not going to help. When I look around, I see great startups in the world, which are much more than "Solving problems". So I want part of India to focus on creativity part. Its about bringing the inner artist within us to create great paintings that touch the soul.

    My view of startups is something different. For me, there are three Floors.
    Ground Floor: Its about the base technology that would make everything else possible. These are done by Startups by Scientists, researchers etc. Its like building the new programming language or the new Synthetic Molecule. Indians are pretty good at this. But India as a country has a long way to cover, This is a difficult floor to get into, because requires a lot of time and investment into training, higher studies etc.

    First Floor: Its about the tools that leverage the groundbreaking stuff made in GroundFloor. Its like creating the new Toolset, for developers or tools for making lives easier. Make shopping easier, education easier, eating easier, living easier etc. Indians are good at this. India as startup community is great at this too. 99.9% India's and world's startups are here. But there is a problem, this is a pretty safe floor and easy place to reside. Its a problem for me, because everyone will be tempted to get in here.

    Second Floor: This is all about luxury, comfort, emotion and inner satisfaction. I put all these "fancy apps" like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat in this floor. I also believe this is the most difficult floor to establish, because it involves user psyche. But it is often the most rewarding floor. There is almost never a defined problem-solution statement. Problem-Solution statements are made-up to fill business plans. I do not see a single startup from India up here. This floor also has the largest number of failures. For every successful startup here, there would be tens of thousands of failures.

    I am looking for potential residents of this Second floor. Its not easy to get into the floor. It needs lot of support from all quarters. The competition needs to be tough as well. We should compete (healthy ofcourse) among ourselves a lot to get into this floor.

  • @gouravd Awesome Gourav. I guess we need all sorts to make the world go round. I agree that the entrepreneurship space could use with a lot of creativity and fun, but folks who are chasing those shouldn't take Venture Capital either :) We are still predominantly middle class in our minds to stray away from some of the safety nets we seek for ourselves.

    A few months back, I wrote this blog post on how ecosystems evolve and the stages they go through. You might find it of interest. - my theory is we are still a bit away from Originality. That's where all the groundfloor and the second floor stuff comes in.

  • @vijayanands said:

    we need all sorts to make the world go round

    Can't agree more. But I believe Floor 1 is self sustaining. Ground floor can be helped via National education policies, grants, better infrastructures for inventions etc. Basically there are bullet points that needs to be followed to make this happen. Ofcourse there has to be groups and people working towards them.
    But the 2nd floor is the grey area and like a warped time-space continuum where normal laws of business fall apart. Its the area of uncertainty. That is why I want to dedicate my efforts in search of Floor 2 residents.

    shouldn't take Venture Capital either

    I think its a bit too stringent. I will rather put it like - "shouldn't expect venture capital easily". But that will/has to change too. Those things get funded elsewhere. They will also get funded here. All it takes is one Facebook/Snapchat from India.

    Initially I didn't realize, but after first couple of lines I remembered that I had read that blog earlier. Its just that I read a lot, a hell lot of articles/blogs and I couldn't have missed it :)

  • @gouravd Good luck mate. It requires a whole ecosystem to pitch in to make an ecosystem. Look forward to hearing what you plan to do. Keep us posted.

  • @vijayanands said:

    Look forward to hearing what you plan to do

    Simple step (extremely difficult though). Create a Floor 2 worthy product. Get myself to that stage where my voice is heard, then influence others. Basically lead by example.