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Good Ideas, Good Luck

May 8, 2022
Good Ideas, Good Luck
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Coming up with new company ideas is easy: we take the day off, go to the park, and let the thoughts arrive like butterflies. Maybe we grab a coconut from that guy for a little buzz. While this describes a pleasant day in San Francisco, it couldn’t be further from the truth of what we do at super{set}. If only we could pull great ideas out of thin air. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.

Some ideas do come quickly. Others come slowly into view. No matter where the idea comes from, any idea is not the same as a good idea. Good ideas are hard work. Generating good ideas at scale is the result of a disciplined intellectual process.

A good idea must clearly address pain, be targeted to a buyer/user persona, have a coherent solution, and be defensible from the competition. A bad idea will fail along those dimensions. We work hard to form a good idea and actualize it over time in the face of market uncertainty and customer/operational risks. Hard work makes everything go — but in light of inevitable risks and uncertainties, you need a little luck to achieve the dream. Luck, then, doesn’t enter at the beginning of the process; instead, it is the combination of persistence with opportunity. Do something long enough and well enough, and you’ll likely get lucky eventually.

super{set}’s studio model is like a combustion engine. There’s an initial spark of inspiration, our deliberate exploratory process adds in fuel, and then there’s an explosion that pumps the pistons and drives the central shaft of every company we originate.

Our ideation process is simple to describe, but hard work to execute:

  1. We look for data-driven opportunities: software isn’t eating the world, data is
  2. Obvious ideas ≠ attractive ideas: we see four types of startup opportunities and engage accordingly
  3. We thoroughly explore the idea to gain conviction: VCs write Investment Memos, super{set} writes Solution Memos

Click the links above to delve into each stage of our ideation process.

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