The Next Big Thing in Tech

by Adam on May 3, 2013

I’ve thought often about the idea of novelty vs need in the food + tech space. How, often, new entrepreneurs take a “me too” approach to the food space that doesn’t look to solve real problems. While it doesn’t come to any definite conclusions, this recent article in Tech Crunch hit a chord with me for primarily that reason. While it doesn’t mention food + tech companies specifically, it does point to a wider issue in the innovation environment:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/29/chamath-palihapitiya-disrupt/

But why this lack of innovation in the entrepreneurship space? Perhaps one answer is that small businesses are easy to come by, apps are quick to conceive and even quicker to deploy with the right tool sets. We’ve traded the very difficult road of meaningful change and innovation for the quick acquisition, the flash-in-the-pan media attention, and the glamorous side of the startup lifestyle. Whatever that is.

So consider these questions when examining the path of startup entrepreneurship. I’m not suggesting these are all inclusive, nor that I am a startup founder with insights to be offering, but I have talked with enough startups to have some sense of what to look for:

-What is the problem you are trying to solve? Explain it in terms of your audience’s current pain points, rather than what your company “does.”
-Who will be most affected by the change your company represents? And what exactly is that change (more efficient logistics models, adapted end-user behavior, etc)?
-Are there are companies out there trying to solve this problem? If so, how many and what are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? If there aren’t any, why not?
-What is the ultimate goal of the company? State this as both an ideal use case, and also how the landscape that the company operates in will be changed by the company’s work.
-What are your strategic barriers against competition (and “lower price” doesn’t count)?

Above all, be sure that what you’re doing comes from a place of passion and one that contributes to overall innovation. There’s too much “me too” going on out there to waste time walking that road.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Matt G June 4, 2013 at 11:21 pm

You nailed it!

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