Start up companies turn dreams into reality. The most successful ones start with a truly big, or disruptive, idea; a concept that will significantly change the way something is done.
Successful startups solve a compelling problem; they come up with a way of doing something that does not presently exist. They might solve a problem that has never been solved before. Or they might come up with a better solution than existed before. But “better” can’t mean “just a little bit better.” It has to mean “enough better to compel customers to buy the product.”
The most successful start ups have a protected idea. They have an idea that cannot easily be copied by their competition. This might mean the idea is covered by patents. Sometimes it means that portions of the process are trade secrets and cannot easily be reinvented or reverse engineered. One way, or another, the company should have a sustainable “unfair competitive advantage.”
Successful startups have a product or service that customers will feel compelled to purchase. They also have effective strategies for building a management team, developing the product or service, marketing the product or service, positioning the product or service with respect to competition, sustaining their competitive advantage, and financing all of their capital needs.
The bigger and more disruptive the idea, the better the company’s chances of attracting the necessary investment capital. Investors like ideas that have the potential for supporting large companies with substantial prospects for either an initial public offering or an acquisition by a large corporation. That’s how investors make their “return on investment.”