SWOT and VOS indicator

In a few paragraphs, describe (1) the problem that you want to solve and (2) the solution that forms the basis of your start-up idea.  Then you need to evaluate your idea by answering Sequoia Capital’s “Why Now?” question and using one of the three tools that we discussed on Thursday.  As a reminder, the tools are SWOT analysis, the VOS indicator and OUTSIDE-IMPACTS.  You will find an Excel template on Blackboard under Unit 1 (Week 1) for both SWOT and the VOS indicator.  Feel free to use them, or not, as you see fit.You can hand in a hard copy of your written analysis or send me an email with your work attached.

The three tools that we discussed contain four common elements that you should try to address. 

  • What is the size of the market for this idea? 
  • Does the solution create significant value for the customer by solving a significant problem?
  • Would the customer be willing to pay for the service and if not, or how will you turn this solution into revenue?
  • Who are your potential competitors and how will they react when you roll out your product or service? 
  • Are there any barriers to entry or other competitive advantages that will help you?
  • Discuss the management team that you will need to assemble.
  • What skills to you bring to the project and what skills will you need to hire? How much and how long?  Will this take significant capital?  Roughly how much might you need to raise?  How fast can you get this business to break-even?  How soon before investors can exit via an IPO or sale?

I don’t expect you to come up with a brilliant idea. Nor do I expect you to provide financial projections (not yet, at least). Give me rough, order of magnitude estimates for the funds you might need to raise and the timing to break-even.I look forward to seeing your attempts on Tuesday.

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