Tuesday, July 17, 2012
須問自己兩個問題：1.There might be a reason for that. 2. maybe you are right, but there's lots
評審評語 from 許安德創辦人
To all YEF members:
I decided to write general comments regarding the business plans that I saw because I saw areas for improvement that were applicable to all. My comments have less to do with the technical aspect of a business plan as most of the plans addressed the basic components. However, I thought there was a great deal of improvement possible in terms of the content and the thinking behind starting a venture.
A few thoughts on identifying a problem:
My overall impression of the plans was that they seemed like a school assignment rather than a work of passion. Having passion and a deep understanding of the problem you are solving is very important. I’d say that passion sometimes outweighs the problem itself. In my own experience of fundraising, both as someone seeking investment and providing the funding, I’d say that “passion” has probably been the single most important fact that has enabled me to both win investors and also win me over when other entrepreneurs have pitched me ideas.
Having said, this leads to my second point, of picking problems that are solvable by you given your life experiences. I understand that YEF members are students and therefore, young, and have limited life experiences, so I’d suggest that in the future, you should pick problems that you have observed in everyday life or are relevant to your generation because this would be something that you know about.
Is there a need? A lot of the business plans discussed plans for a product. The problem I saw was that the product was feasible but I wasn’t convinced that there would be a need for the solution.
First, a good business does not always need to be a product-based company
Second, a good product does not always make for business or financial success
I think many first-time entrepreneurs and especially the mindset in Taiwan is about building a product or something tangible, however I’d say that the important thing is to figure out the problem you are solving first and not to fall into a mental trap of needing to build a product.
The hardest thing to overcome in starting a business is “market risk”. If the market is not ready for a product or unwilling to pay for your product or unwilling to alter its behavior to use your product, then you will have a problem.
Lack of discussion on “distribution:” Let’s suppose you do have a winning product already, how do you get the product to the end user? This is actually a critical question but most start-ups don’t think about the issue from the get-go. I would advise teams to talk to potential suppliers & distributors and to understand their thinking, e.g. what type of margins they’d expect to move a product and perhaps they will also offer a more realistic assessment of your potential market.
“There is nothing like our product or service”
1) There might be a reason for that
2) What you say may be true, but there might be lots of substitutes