The Founder's Foyer with Aishwarya - Discovering & validating early-stage ideas
Ft. Ravi Mehta, Scale (ex- TripAdvisor, Tinder, Meta, XBox) - 'Jobs to be done' framework, informed conviction in the absence of quantitative inputs, channelizing customer conversations, and more...
Here’s this week’s update from the The Founder’s Foyer project!
Discovering ideas is definitely an exciting phase—we wake up, walk around, and go to sleep thinking about the best ideas we can build for. But, what happens to all those ideas? Do we really have a tried and tested way to pick out just the right ones and get to implement them?
I know that journey is super hard. And that’s exactly why Ravi Mehta and I got together to chat on The Founder’s Foyer everything about discovering, analyzing, and validating the right ideas to work on.
Ravi goes on to share some of his experiences from the times of leading product teams at TripAdvisor, Tinder, and Meta, especially the one he believes the most on—'Jobs to be done' framework. This also helped him transition with conviction to building Scale Higher and its purpose.
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Here’s the full episode where Ravi breaks down the elements of how an early-stage founder or builder should go about focusing on the conversations with their customers, and ensure they have "informed conviction" - which then helps in making decisions in three different ways:
- really good intuitive leaps
- conversations with customers aka qualitative inputs
- quantitative benchmark data from the market
He also covered the concept of how he validated his own startup idea, Scale, by channelizing customer responses, conversations, and inner motives, and combining that with external factors.
When I started exploring ideas, I put together a framework to help understand each opportunity I was considering. I needed the framework to add a dose of rationality to concepts that I got intuitively excited about.
Here are the components of Ravi’s framework to choose the right ideas to work on:
Fundability - How likely are VCs to fund this idea early (i.e, without traction)? In other words, how much does this tie into trends that VCs are getting behind (i.e., Blockchain) or models they really like (i.e., SaaS).
Time to revenue - How quickly (in months) can you go from zero to generating revenue? Given that this is one of the key signs of traction, time to revenue is a measure of the riskiest time in a startup's life)
Revenue opportunity size - How big is the ultimate opportunity size of this market? The idea here was to find $1B+ markets that would be attractive to VCs.
Ease of customer acquisition - What channels would make sense? What is the cost of those channels? How quickly do the channels scale?
Technical challenge - How technically difficult is the product to build?
Changes to technology & habits - What are the prevailing changes in technology or market behavior that this idea taps into? How strong are those changes?
Listen to our conversation as a podcast on
Thank you, and keep your suggestions/feedback coming! :)