Useful questions you should ask yourself in your startup journey.
Why do you want to start this business?
Is there a Problem?
Where is the problem happening in the world?
Is your idea unpopular but RIGHT?
Are you mission-oriented?
Do you have a Monopoly?
Do you have ten years to give to this?
Can you make a few users LOVE your product?
Are you in a small but growing market? Is it going to be big in 10 years?
2-2-2 Rule Why start a company NOW? Not 2 years ago? In 2 years will it be too late?
Can you explain your idea in one sentence?
Do you have a great product?
Can your idea grow organically? Through word of mouth?
Is your product simple to use?
Define the problem you want to solve starting with a small subset of the problem
Can you focus on doing something small extremely well?
Is the founder fanatical?
How are you going to create a tight Feedback loop?
What Metrics are you using in your domain? Total registrations, active users, activity levels, cohort retention, revenue, NPS?
DO you have ENOUGH PASSION??? Do you have You cannot not do it syndrome? Are you the person to do it?
Is CEO like James Bond? unplacable, tough, knows what to do in every situation, acts quickly, decisive, creative, ready for anything
Do you have more than 3 founders?
Is equity equally split between founders?
How long can you go without hiring?
Would you hire this person if you had to report to them? Would you feel comfortable reporting to if roles were reversed ?
How do you plan to motivate your employees? Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose> micromanaging
How are you going to set the vision, raise money, evangelize, hire and manage, make sure the entire company executes
Who are you going to delegate to?
Are you FOCUSING on 2 or 3 things a day and delegating the rest?
What overarching goals you setting? (ship product by this date, maintain this growth rate, get this certain engagement rate, hire for these key roles, get this deal done, etc)
How are you going to get everyone in the company know what these goals are (even have them tell you every week). So everyone executes on that?
Are you doing weekly meetings with your team?
How fast can you move?
How obsessed are you with quality?
How are you going to keep momentum and continue growing?
How are you going to become an expert in your users?
Have you identified your customer segments? Focused on their needs?
Have you Storyboarded the ideal user experience?
Have you Visualize the flow/user experience? How users through the website but also how they find out about you (word of mouth, how users get to come to your website, what you communicate, what they get at the beginning of the process, what they get when they finish using the product, reviews, comments, etc).
What’s your Minimum Viable Product look like?
Have you talked with your users to solve immediate needs?
WHO ARE YOUR USERS? How are you going to reach them? online communities (if you are building products for developers, Hacker News and reddit are good examples), local communities (if you are building consumer products, mailing lists) or niche influencers (like mommy bloggers). Lastly, cold calls, emails and press.
CAN YOU Track your honesty curve? If it is a free product some people will lie to you as they are more separated from you. If they pay they will be more honest. Not necessarily the first product has to be free but make it so that you can get that type of feedback quick, as they will have to pay for your product in the future.
Are you optimizing for the first 10 to 100 users or for your millionth users?
What channels you going to execute in what order?
What ROI are you growing?
Is growth Sticky, viral or paid?
Have you experienced 2-3 weeks of non-growth in a row ?
How do you get users to switch to you?
Is you market small to mid-sized with a fast adoption rate?
Do you have Proprietary technology?
Do you have Network effects?
Do you have Economies of scaling?
Do you have Branding?
Do you have Innovation? If you want to create X amount of dollars in value, you have to capture the Y percent of X.
Who's in your vertical that you can compare to?
What metric is everyone in your company thinking about and driving their products toward?
What’s your virality plan? First is payload, how many people can you hit with a given viral blast? Second is the conversion rate, and third is frequency
How fast are you growing? The gap between conversion and churn rate will basically indicate how fast you’re going to grow.
Have you created a product that people would love and have a relationship with?
Does your product make an impression?
What’s their first impression? Much like dating, selling a product has a lot to do with first impressions. Does it have an enchanted quality, or a taken for granted quality? What is the emotion on the person’s face when they interact with your product?
Are you connected with your customer? How?
Is your company organize in a specific way of best price, best product, and best overall solution?
What things are you doing that don’t scale?
Have you found your product-market fit?
Are you optimizing for speed or scalability?
Are you a focused and obsessed leader?
What inspired this idea? A personal problem?
Have you raised money?
Are the founders going to be able to work together?
Can you build the product ?
Can you actually sell enough to pay for cost of sales?
Do your investors add value or just money? Domain knowledge in what you’re trying to do?
As the leader, what personal values are the most important to you?
What are the most important values for your business’ success?
What values will you look for in your employees?
What could never be tolerated?
Have you incorporated your mission into your core values?
Do you have a pyramid of accountability?
Are you Making sure everyone is being held accountable for their responsibilities?
How are you measuring your employees? Remember that things that aren’t measured get discounted and forgotten
Are you measuring progress by focusing on the output and not on the input?
Who are you hiring and what do they value?
What do we want to be doing everyday? And why are we doing it?
How are you choosing to communicate?
What are you choosing to celebrate?
Who's the Editor in chief? An editor is the best metaphor to use when describing the CEO job description. Your employees are the writers. Like when you write any paper, the first thing an editor does it strike up the paper with red ink simplifying and eliminating anything to clarify what is being said. The more you simplify the easier it will be for your team to understand the framework and repeat the process. Don’t accept the excuse of complexity. Sometimes people say something is too complicated. They are wrong. You can market and build ideas within a few simple words.
What 4 things actually matter to the company? Make a list of the top four things that actually matter to the company. This will allow your team to focus on building up the company and not become distracted by unimportant things.
DOES COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMPANY SOUND LIKE ONE VOICE? Make it feel like everything your company says or does is all by one person. Any recruitment pages or social media accounts should have the same flow and feel. You want everyone in the company to understand and be able to produce the voice themselves.
Have you set employee objectives? If their task maturity level is low their task will be highly structured knowing what, when, and how, the employee is doing with their tasks. If their maturity level is high you will simply monitor them and set objectives.
Have you Built a dashboard simplifying the metrics of success?
What are the key components for success of the company?
Who Does what? Write down what tasks are being delegating and who is completing them. This will keep everyone on the same page at all times.
Do you have new enabling technologies that create a wide gap between how things have been done and how things can be done?
Can incumbents do what you're doing? You want to do things that incumbents can’t or won’t do because either the economics don’t make sense for them, the economics are so unusual, or because technically they can’t.
Who are your customers? Find the customers on the bleeding edge of their market who use technology to get a head. And that use technology for performance advantages, and go work with them to see how your product can evolve.