What’s your big idea? Or should we call it a problem? Most startup ideas revolve around wanting to solve a problem or make something better. And, let’s face it, when you are setting out to answer a big question, you don’t want to stop halfway. As a startup founder, it’s important to talk about that big idea. Here are the reasons why.
Big ideas inspire
Apple’s Steve Jobs was arguably the best-known startup founder, even before everyone was using the term startup. His wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, is quoted as saying: “He cares deeply about…the advancement of humankind, and putting the right tools in their hands.”
That’s a commitment to a big idea right there – the advancement of humankind. Chances are that you have a similar, big ambition for your startup. Perhaps you are developing a solution to plastic pollution, or maybe you are developing an app that will make a convoluted process simple and straightforward.
Whatever your idea is, don’t be afraid to tell others about it. In the early stages of a startup, you may feel shy to share your ambitions with others but consider the potential benefits. You are looking to attract top talent right from the start. This will be easier if you can inspire prospective team members with an irresistible idea.
Sharing your big idea with others means they can contribute, which will help you develop your concept further. Inspiring others with your startup idea is the first step towards generating engagement.
Big ideas attract big funding
Let’s be honest – no matter how ingenious your startup idea is, you need to generate funding in order to bring it to market. Attracting the attention of investors and succeeding in funding rounds is easier if potential investors can see your big idea.
Of course, investors want to see a solid financial strategy. They need to see that you understand your market and have taken to time to develop paths to help you reach individual segments of it.
More importantly, though, investors want to see how your startup will make a difference to the world. If you are not sharing your big idea, you are limiting your own opportunities. Remember, many venture capitalists are in a position to support startups, because one day they had a big idea themselves which turned into a successful business.
Show them that your idea is a game-changer for a better chance to attract game-changing funding.
Big ideas become the core of your narrative
Every business has a story. Your big idea today will become the core of your story – or narrative - tomorrow.
Think of some of the companies you admire and consider why you admire them. In most cases, the answer will revolve around stories. These could be stories of building something from scratch with limited resources, about overcoming initial negative reactions, or a disbelief in the potential of the idea. You may also recall stories of taking a business idea and allowing it to change the world.
As a startup or an early-stage company, you have an opportunity to shape your organization’s narrative and your own as a founder. Your big idea is the core of that narrative. No matter whether you plan to change the way the world orders takeaways or pays for online purchases – share your idea.
Tell others about the moment you had the first glimpse of your big idea. Share the situation or problem which made it clear to you that there was a big chance here for a startup.
Don’t be afraid to aim high. Granted, you may have to go step-by-step towards your big goal. That is not an obstacle. In fact, along the way, your startup may be developing numerous solutions to numerous problems. All of them become chapters in your narrative, and they are often the most memorable parts.
Big ideas are your North Star through challenging times
Launching a startup and guiding it from a big idea to a viable business is challenging. It’s a long-term commitment, and there will be tough times.
You may find it hard to secure finance initially. Even with initial funding in the bag, perhaps you are finding it tough to attract more finance to allow you to scale the business. First, you are not alone. Most startups face similar challenges.
One solution would be to scale back your ambitions. However, if your goal is to develop a solution to a big problem, there is simply no such thing as solving it “a little bit”.
When things get tough, it’s worth having a north star – a target that allows you to see past daily difficulties. This helps you refocus and home in on your big idea.
Of course, you may have to take the odd detour. For startups, that often involves launching a minimum viable product to test real market potential. But keeping your big idea at the front of your mind will make it easier to work through those tougher times and stay on track.
If you have an idea with the potential to answer big questions, solve big problems, and perhaps save the world (or, at least, make it better) – don’t keep that idea to yourself.
As a startup founder, you need to engage a wide range of stakeholders. A bold idea is an excellent way of inspiring others to support you. This will help attract talent as well as funding. In addition, your ambitious goal becomes the core of your narrative. Eventually, this will be the very essence of how you as a founder and your business will be known. Don’t miss out on the potential.
Like it? Share it!
Mari Luukkainen newsletter
Join 1000+ subscribers to my weekly newsletter about startups and growth.