Smart Startup – Smart Up
Chapter 3: The key that opens the door to ideas
Having started a business,
anyone will start with an idea.
At this stage, when we have prepared knowledge,
as mentioned in the previous chapter,
the idea of starting a business will not be too difficult anymore.
This chapter will introduce two methods
to help you easily come up with startup ideas for your business.
The first method is to use the set of 40 principles
– basic creative tricks (TRIZ) of the Jewish Professor Genrich Saulovich Altshuller,
(1) The principle of subdivision;
(2) The principle of separation;
(3) Principle of local quality;
(4) The principle of counter-symmetry;
(5) The principle of association;
(6) Universal principle;
(7) Principles contained in;
(8) Principle of counterweight;
(9) Principle of pre-stressing;
(10) Principles of preliminary implementation;
(11) Contingency principle;
(12) Equipotential principle;
(13) Principle of inversion;
(14) The principle of (circular) demand;
(15) Principle of flexibility;
(16) Principle of solving “lack” or “excess”;
(17) Principle of moving to another dimension;
(18) Principle of using mechanical vibrations;
(19) Principle of cyclic effect;
(20) The principle of continuous beneficial effects;
(21) The principle of “fast pass”;
(22) The principle of turning harm into gain;
(23) Principle of feedback relationship;
(24) Principles of using intermediaries;
(25) Principle of self-service;
(26) Principle of copying (copy);
(27) The principle of “cheap” instead of “expensive”;
(28) Principles of replacing mechanical diagrams;
(29) Principles of using gas and liquid structures;
(30) Principle of using flexible shell and thin film;
(31) Principles of using multi-hole materials;
(32) Principle of color change;
(33) The principle of uniformity;
(34) Principles of decomposition or regeneration of parts;
(35) Principle of changing the physicochemical parameters of the object;
(36) Principles of using phase transitions;
(37) Principle of using thermal expansion;
(38) Principle of using strong oxidizing agent;
(39) Principle of inertness change;
(40) Principles of using composite materials.
Maybe not all of the above principles are the keys
to opening the door of a startup idea.
But here’s a set of principles
– tricks worth trying.
Take the time to ponder and come up
with your own startup ideas.
Here are a few suggestions for your reference.
1. The principle of subdivision.
In fact, it’s easier to sell things separately than to sell them all.
instead of having to buy an expensive ticket
to visit a tourist area that makes a segment of customers feel uncomfortable,
you can break it down by:
customers only need to pay enter the gate,
then if customers play games
or visit any area will pay at that area.
Customers will feel more comfortable
and your market will be more open.
If the customer can pay it all from the start,
then you should have a favorable price for them.
Instead of having to buy the whole suit like before,
now you should divide each part to sell to customers.
Your customers can buy a vest
without necessarily buying the whole suit.
In other words, the whole product has been “broken down”
to sell only one product in it,
because this demand is more than necessarily forcing customers
to buy the whole set.
Breakdown is a form of breaking down products/services,
then providing each small segment to customers.
“Split” is a good idea
when you see a customer need more for “a part” than the whole.
2. Universal principle.
Based on the combination of many functions on the same product/service,
this principle helps you take advantage of the “availability” in the product/service
to bring another function to save space and time,
materials and create products/services
that users need maximum functionality,
multi-use to fulfill multiple needs.
In today’s smart homes,
to save space and costs,
multi-function beds were born.
Beds that can sleep with drawers
and storage cabinets are a testament to the principle of universality.
Another example is multi-purpose household appliances.
Tighten bolts, screws, corkscrews, rulers,
cutters… all in one tool.
With this startup idea,
your start-up business will be more competitive,
and bringing more benefits to customers at a reasonable price.
And you will win on the way to entrepreneurship.
3. Principle contained in.
A very good example of this principle is the Russian doll set,
which consists of many dolls with a smaller child nested
within a larger one.
Or another example that also helps you easily imagine is the tripod.
With three shorter stands in one longer stand,
your customers can adjust the short length on each foot
for optimal and compact product.
4. Preliminary implementation principles.
Instead of having to buy food
and spices to marinate/process the dishes they like,
now your customers can buy pre-marinated foods
with a variety of dishes,
saving both time and money overcome the weaknesses in domestic ability.
While trying to figure out how to properly open a bag of laundry detergent
and similar products,
many businesses now bring convenience to customers
when applying this preliminary implementation principle
by pre-cutting a mark for customers
to easily know where to open
as well as how to open the product packaging.
5. The principle of flexibility.
The principle of flexibility is to make a product/service
that combines “dynamic” and “static”.
With an object that is “moving” you make it both “moving” and “immovable”;
With a “fixed” product,
you make it both “fixed” and “variable”.
A few examples of this flexibility principle are car seats
that can be moved forward,
backward, up, down to suit the physique of each driver;
(or) there are many manufacturers
of foldable bicycles on the market today
for easy transportation.
Starting a business with the idea of “mobility”
is essentially making your business “mobility”
to reach a wider market.
6. The principle of continuous beneficial action.
The principle of continuous beneficial impact is
to create an ecosystem for products/services
to deliver optimal results.
This principle helps to increase productivity,
reduce waste and save business time.
The principle of continuous beneficial impact means
that instead of focusing on developing a single stage of the product,
you scrutinize the broader picture of all things product related such as:
marketing, policy – law…
The Principle of Continuity of Help elevates your thinking about business size.
You will have to cover your business better,
while growing the business bigger.
In the early stages of a business,
applying the principle of continuous beneficial impact
by “thinking big” is more important than ever.
Thinking big will help you go the long way
instead of going the short way nowhere.
7. Self-service principle.
The principle of self-service
is that customers do some simple actions themselves
to complete a service stage or process.
For example, in some convenience stores or fast food chains
that apply this principle,
customers self-serve some basic operations such as:
going to the counter to pick up food
instead of having someone deliver it to the table. ,
cleaning up after meals, etc.
Thus, businesses will have less labor to do the stages
and the price of their products/services will be more competitive
than businesses applying full service.
Or another example,
instead of having to go to the bank to withdraw money
and go through many different procedures
from sending the car to receiving the money,
with a limited amount of money,
customers can withdraw money
through ATMs (Automatic Teller Machine)
is not only convenient for customers
but banks also reduce labor costs.
Think big and do differently,
you will win.
8. The principle of “cheap”
instead of “expensive”.
The principle of “cheap” instead of “expensive”
means that you can produce a product in large quantities,
reduce some features of the product/service… to reduce costs,
thereby , helping to reduce costs.
For example, with the same household product as chopsticks,
there is a segment of customers
who prefer chopsticks made of precious wood materials such as ebony,
but there is also a segment of customers
who can only pay for chopsticks made from bamboo and other materials.
You can find yourself a start-up idea:
produce chopsticks with cheap materials
but still ensure safety and quality.
The principle of “cheap”
instead of “expensive” gives you access to a wider market,
lower (or equal) prices,
and less profit but with more customers.
In the 40 creative methodologies mentioned above,
you can combine the principles
to find the most suitable startup ideas.
For example, the principle of universality can be combined
with the principle of continuum of beneficial action.
List how many startup ideas you will have knowing
these 40 innovative methodologies?
The next method is Michael Michalko’s SCAMPER creative thinking method.
SCAMPER is a compound word of the first letters of the following words:
Combine, Adapt, Modify,
Put it to some other use for other purposes),
Eliminate (remove/restrict) and Reverse (reverse).
1. Principle Substitute – substitution.
When using this principle to search for a startup idea,
you are looking for a method based on an existing product/service
to create a more convenient product,
with no loss or negligible quality
at a more reasonable price for the customer segment you are targeting.
Here are some examples to help
you find your own startup ideas based on this principle.
To protect the environment and be user-friendly,
there are paper bags on the market
to replace plastic bags before.
In developed countries,
the use of sugar in everyday foods has been replaced
by other natural sweeteners, still
retains the sweetness of sugar
and is good for consumers’ health.
Instead of using one or two packets of sugar for a cup of coffee,
now we only need to use one
or two drops of natural sweetener instead.
2. Principle Combine – combine.
This principle is similar to principle (4) in TRIZ.
Based on this principle,
you can combine different products/services into a new product/service
that brings more value to a customer segment.
3. Principle of Adapt – adapt.
This principle is based on considering a certain product/service being used
in a different context.
You can find a startup idea that is to apply that product / service
to the situation you want
and see the potential of a customer segment.
in the past,
coconut was used to drink water,
eat pulp, but now, on the market,
there are many companies
and shops selling coconut oil extracted
from coconut pulp (rice) to help nourish skin and hair…
So, the same with coconut pulp,
but when taken to another situation,
it will give you a viable start-up idea
and suitable for the current business environment.
4. Modify principle – adjust/modify.
Can I make the product smaller or larger?
Can I make the product longer or shorter?
Can it take another shape?
These are questions you can ask yourself
as you apply this principle to your search for a startup idea.
Based on the existing product/service,
you ask many questions with this principle
to find yourself a better/different/more suitable product/service
for a different customer segment.
Currently, there are many shops, restaurants, companies …
based on this principle to satisfy many different customer segments.
For example, when entering a coffee shop,
it is very easy for you to choose the right size of coffee cup.
Because they have large,
medium and small cups to meet the different needs of different customers.
5. Principle Put it to some other use – use for other purposes.
Using this principle means
that you put a certain product/service into service in a different environment
than is customary.
Nowadays, you often see a lot of coffee shops on the market
that use products / items
that you can’t think of that can be used in food service.
For example, they use a household spice jar instead of a glass,
a bathtub as a table,
or even use a toilet instead of a chair…
Try this principle,
it will make a startup idea yours becomes bolder and more unique.
6. Eliminate principle – eliminate/restrict.
That is when you feel that
the current product/service can be broken down/removed/restricted
in some functions/components
to reduce costs for customers,
or can use other products/services.
This new service caters to a different customer segment.
The rule of exclusion/restriction will make the product/service
in your startup idea more perfect.
A typical example of this principle is that some phone companies
still produce phones that only have the function of listening/calling
and removing the functions of taking pictures,
recording videos, etc.
to serve the segment of customers who do not need them,
that function and of course the price will also be more affordable.
7. Reverse principle – reverse/refactor/reorder.
Using this principle will help you come up
with a startup idea for your product/service
to have a different structure/arrangement,
or simply reverse from the current one.
A very familiar example also related to a coffee shop,
you will find there are startup ideas
that are to reverse the items arranged / displayed as usual:
chairs, tables on the ceiling and light bulbs on the floor. …
From there, they bring interesting feelings to customers
and will have a separate customer segment.
This is also a principle worth trying
if you love creativity and originality.
Just like applying TRIZ to find startup ideas for your business,
SCAMPER will help you have a multi-dimensional view
of a product/service/object
and will help you have a great startup idea.
However, TRIZ, SCAMPER
or any other creative method has its own advantages and disadvantages.
So, explore and research different creative methods
to find the difference for your startup business.
At this point, are you confident about your startup idea?
But I must inform you of one fact:
Your startup idea is not worth a dime, or just a few cents.
If you follow the start-up situation in the past time,
you will probably not be unfamiliar with the statements of people
who are very successful about the “importance” of ideas.
Idea is nothing if you don’t implement and execute it completely.
So don’t overestimate the idea and don’t feel hurt
when someone “despise” an idea
that you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about and exploring.
But wake up, don’t live forever in the halo
that you create yourself.
Never think that just with that idea you will also be like them
– successful entrepreneurs are known around the world
or the whole country.
You don’t know that they went through many failures
before reaching success in implementing the current idea
– which you see.
We are usually very happy
and proud to be the author of a startup idea,
but most of these ideas have been thought of by others
or have been implemented before.
Therefore, investors often do not focus on your idea,
they focus on:
How you implement that idea.
It’s important that you execute
and execute your idea successfully;
Besides, the level of return on total investment
(ROI – Return On Investment) is also noticed by investors.
They want to see how the money they invest in will grow,
when the capital will be recovered,
how you will use the money invested,
how feasible it is;
If you have a team/individual with special or outstanding ability,
this is also an attractive factor for investors;
Also, will they see how you promote the brand they invest in?
How is the distribution?
IDEAS that have not been realized have no value
the goal of this chapter is not to downplay the idea
that is the foundation of any journey,
but we want to emphasize that:
If you already have a startup idea,
do it now and do it. arrive.
“Leave him alone!
Let’s do it”
– that is the famous saying of billionaire Richard Branson
and after reading this chapter,
you just need to remember that saying is great.
“This book addresses the core problem of the entrepreneurial mindset.
I believe that people who understand these ideas will do light
and sustainable business.”
Tran Quoc Phuc