6 Ways to Know if Your Startup Idea is a Bad One

“You might be business minded, but that doesn’t mean that you have good business ideas.” Those words, though harsh, could save you from a great deal of financial stress. The ability to discriminate between a good idea and a bad idea won’t only save time, it saves money. While the answer to the question “Is this a good idea?” may not be written on the walls, there are signs that suggest that your idea may not be the best idea.

You Can’t Quickly Describe Your Quirky Startup Idea

Perhaps, at the beginning… at the point of inception, your idea was great. But some time between then and now, your idea unraveled and collected features from Google, Amazon and Zappos. Thus, when trying to explain this idea, you have difficulty when trying to  keep your  listeners’ attention. Hone in on what you really want your business to do, and who you want it to serve. Then, sit down and write out a succinct 20-word explanation of your business. If you can’t, that’s a problem.

People Tell You it’s a Bad Idea

Forget the notion that the person listening to your business idea is a “hater.” Instead, consider why it’s been communicated to you that you reevaluate your startup idea. Critics are important because they’re potential customers. Try to listen to the constructive feedback that you’re receiving.

You Don’t Have a Market

Yes, people buy services and products that they don’t need, but that doesn’t mean you should be the mastermind behind one of those brainless ideas. Don’t construct products that are overly complicated, or endeavors to be two parts Facebook, one part food delivery service and one part music service… it’s not needed. Moreover, it’s not wanted. Be practical and consider what things will never go out of fashion, and focuses your attention on branding that product/service as your own.

Your Concept is Generic

If you ever hear the phrase, “been there, done that” when explaining your business concept to someone, figure out if your product is unique or if it’s just a bastardized carbon copy. While there is a market for producing improved versions of existing services and products, try creating something fairly original that clients want to pay for.

You Lack Passion

Like anything, your business requires passion if it’s to flourish. Even if your idea is spectacular, you have to have excitement or passion when presenting it. Otherwise, why would anyone else be excited about your business? Build a business around something you love and you’re proud of.

You’ve Founded a Business That Isn’t Scalable

You won’t make money with your business if your idea of return is rooted in immediacy, and there was no planning to secure investors or develop long-term success. Strategy is important for business creation, it’s the difference between shuttering your business and being ready when an opportunity comes knocking.


Eddie Dovner is an entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO who is based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more about Eddie Dovner by visiting his pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare. Also, please learn more by visiting EdwardDovner.org and EddieDovner.com.