Origins of a startup Idea

5 Jul

Osman Rashid, founder of Chegg, describes how he comes up with great startup ideas.

This is an excerpt from an interview he gave in the book “Venture Capitalists At Work”

Shah: You are hitting on some of the core drivers that make people move from the cushy jobs into doing something adventurous and risky, and more importantly, something they dream about doing, like starting or joining a start-up. What is your process for coming up with start-up ideas?

Rashid: Great ideas are always around you and a person needs to be in an entrepreneurial mindset to see them. So many industries are waiting to be
disrupted- you just need an open mind. Entrepreneurs who have to sit down and think of ideas- I don’t know how many of them really succeed.
An entrepreneur is always thinking of ideas. You are always thinking about what is going on. In the back of your head, you are always asking questions.
One day you see something that makes you tip your head to one side, and say, hmm, interesting, what is that all about? Something just hits you.
I think it hits those people who have their radar on all the time. I really do not believe in sitting down at a white board and trying to make a start-up. That is too logical and it is not emotional enough, irrational enough. It may not be crazy enough for you to get passionate about it. In a start-up, the fundamental ingredient has to be passion. So much that it can get you through the bad days.

You have to fundamentally believe in what you are doing. I have a lot of friends who try to think of ideas and they get frustrated. And then this random guy shows up with a brilliant idea, and they think, wow, that makes a lot of sense. If you look around, the simplest of ideas have been the biggest of things.


Osman Rashid

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