Field Guide
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Questions to ask yourself

  1. Are you willing to spend the next 7-10 years of your life on this idea?
  2. If you run into hard times and it’s not working out (this could be years), would you be willing to push through?
  3. Do you have real conviction and passion for the space or do you just want to start a company?
  4. Are you willing to compete against 15-20 competitors with the same idea, and do you think you will win? Why will you win?
  5. Is your personal network supportive of you starting a company?
  6. Do you have sufficient savings set aside to sustain you while you fundraise?

Questions to ask your potential co-founder(s)

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you want to spend most of your time? How would that change as the company matures?
  2. How many hours are you willing to work a week? Would you be willing to take calls at odd hours or are there boundaries we should respect?
  3. What would be an ideal exit for you? Acquisition or IPO? If acquisition, what price would you consider a win?
  4. Should our team be co-located or distributed?
  5. What culture would you like to build at our company?
  6. How should we set founder equity? 
  7. What’s more important to you? Making money? Building a product or team?
  8. Who would your ideal investors be? How much do you want to raise?
  9. How would we resolve personal conflict between ourselves?

Questions to ask about your product/market

  1. Are you going after building a new category or a better product in an existing category? 
  2. What are the large players already if this is an existing category? 
  3. Where will the budget come from if this is a new category? 
  4. Does your solution have enough value to justify a customer to pay the additional money or move the budget to your solution? 
  5. What is the long term view of this market? Will this combine with another category or do you believe this will become a standalone category?