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daily articles for founders

You are your first investor  

Elliot Loh on investing in your own ideas:

...in mulling over my own ideas, I've realized that I'm really my own first investor. While I may not be putting my own money into the one idea I choose, I will be committing time, energy, and a focus exclusive of any other ideas.

He adds that as an investor, you should evaluate your idea with questions like:

  • Does it solve a meaningful problem?
  • Is this a feature, product or technology?
  • What could it become?
  • What will it take to accomplish?
  • Am I the right person to do this?
  • Does it feel like the future?

All very good questions to ask yourself. Some might even be key hypotheses that you will resolve during the startup's life.

One small quibble: even if you do not put any cash directly into the startup, you are still an investor, financially as well. Startups don't pay nearly as much as the jobs that their founders could typically get. So there's a significant opportunity cost, financially, to working on your startup. Given that, it's doubly worth asking yourself whether the idea is worth your while.

More from the library:
Avoid over-design
The terrible costs of patents
Stealth mode startups
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