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石橋秀仁(zerobase)書き散らす

まじめなブログは別にあります→ja.ishibashihideto.net

How to Get Startup Ideas by Paul Graham

How to Get Startup Ideas by Paul Graham

Y Combinatorのポール・グレアムが素晴らしいエッセイを書きました。そのエッセイを読んだときのメモです。(そういえば起業家っぽい記事は久しぶりかも)

Important

The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It's to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself.

The very best startup ideas tend to have three things in common: they're something the founders themselves want, that they themselves can build, and that few others realize are worth doing. Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Google, and Facebook all began this way.

良いスタートアップのアイデアは、自分自身の問題として見つかる。

最も良いアイデアは、

  • 創業者自身が欲しいもの、
  • 自身で作れるもの、
  • ほとんどの人が見過ごしているもの。

Facebook Case

Facebook was a good idea because it started with a small market there was a fast path out of. Colleges are similar enough that if you build a facebook that works at Harvard, it will work at any college. So you spread rapidly through all the colleges. Once you have all the college students, you get everyone else simply by letting them in.

Facebookはハーバード以外でも役立つものだった。大学はだいたい似ている。ハーバードで成功したものは、ほかの大学にも展開できる。

So if you can't predict whether there's a path out of an idea, how do you choose between ideas? The truth is disappointing but interesting: if you're the right sort of person, you have the right sort of hunches. If you're at the leading edge of a field that's changing fast, when you have a hunch that something is worth doing, you're more likely to be right.

自分がある分野の最先端にいて(ユーザーとしてでもいい)、何かの予感を得ているならば、それなりの確からしさで、それには価値がある。

Being at the leading edge of a field doesn't mean you have to be one of the people pushing it forward. You can also be at the leading edge as a user. It was not so much because he was a programmer that Facebook seemed a good idea to Mark Zuckerberg as because he used computers so much. If you'd asked most 40 year olds in 2004 whether they'd like to publish their lives semi-publicly on the Internet, they'd have been horrified at the idea. But Mark already lived online; to him it seemed natural.

四六時中オンラインにいる未来人だったマーク・ザッカーバーグにとって、生活をパブリッシュするのは自然なことだった。

Live In The Future

Paul Buchheit says that people at the leading edge of a rapidly changing field "live in the future." Combine that with Pirsig and you get:

Live in the future, then build what's missing.

That describes the way many if not most of the biggest startups got started. Neither Apple nor Yahoo nor Google nor Facebook were even supposed to be companies at first. They grew out of things their founders built because there seemed a gap in the world.

「未来に生きながら、現在の欠如を造れ」

世界のギャップを埋める事業は成長する。

デザイナーは未来に住んでいる

デザイナーは既に未来に住んでいる。ぼくらのところまで〈現在〉を引っぱり上げるのが、ぼくらの仕事だ。

オバマも未来に住んでいる:

サイバースペースにおけるアメリカのフロンティア開拓精神と合衆国憲法の理念

Prepared Mind

If you look at the way successful founders have had their ideas, it's generally the result of some external stimulus hitting a prepared mind.

心の準備。

Chance favors the prepared mind. - Louis Pasteur

The Obvious

Which means, strangely enough, that coming up with startup ideas is a question of seeing the obvious. That suggests how weird this process is: you're trying to see things that are obvious, and yet that you hadn't seen.

自分に取って「すでに自明」なのに、まだ見たことがないもの。

Since what you need to do here is loosen up your own mind, it may be best not to make too much of a direct frontal attack on the problem--i.e. to sit down and try to think of ideas. The best plan may be just to keep a background process running, looking for things that seem to be missing. Work on hard problems, driven mainly by curiousity, but have a second self watching over your shoulder, taking note of gaps and anomalies.

懸命に問題を探そうとするな。

無意識のセレンディピティを使え。

SFを読め:

岡田斗司夫のSFの読み方「ドラッカーよりもハインラインを読め!」

Toys

Just as trying to think up startup ideas tends to produce bad ones, working on things that could be dismissed as "toys" often produces good ones. When something is described as a toy, that means it has everything an idea needs except being important.

「クール」だと感じられるもの。

他人から「おもちゃ」だと退けられるようなもの。

ウェブタブレットという〈チープなオモチャ〉が破壊する家庭用PC市場

「〈無消費者〉が喜ぶ〈チープなオモチャ〉こそ、新市場を創出すると同時に、既存市場を破壊する」というのが〈破壊的イノベーション理論〉の含意です。〈チープなオモチャ〉という言葉は、「素人でも買える値段と、素人でも使える程度の低機能」という専門家による揶揄です。その「安さ」と「使いやすさ」こそ、〈無消費者〉の求めるものであり、それゆえ新市場型破壊の起爆剤となります。

The Interesting

If you can afford to take a long view (and arguably you can't afford not to), you can turn "Live in the future and build what's missing" into something even better:

Live in the future and build what seems interesting.

「未来に生きながら、面白いものを造れ」

Clash Of Domains

The clash of domains is a particularly fruitful source of ideas. If you know a lot about programming and you start learning about some other field, you'll probably see problems that software could solve. In fact, you're doubly likely to find good problems in another domain: (a) the inhabitants of that domain are not as likely as software people to have already solved their problems with software, and (b) since you come into the new domain totally ignorant, you don't even know what the status quo is to take it for granted.

異分野を学び、ソフトウェアで解決できる「自明」な問題を見つける。

Beachhead

If you're uncertain, ask users. The question of whether you're too late is subsumed by the question of whether anyone urgently needs what you plan to make. If you have something that no competitor does and that some subset of users urgently need, you have a beachhead.

The question then is whether that beachhead is big enough. Or more importantly, who's in it: if the beachhead consists of people doing something lots more people will be doing in the future, then it's probably big enough no matter how small it is. For example, if you're building something differentiated from competitors by the fact that it works on phones, but it only works on the newest phones, that's probably a big enough beachhead.

「すぐにでも欲しい」というユーザーが橋頭堡。

未来に先駆けているユーザー層(イノベーター層)は十分な橋頭堡。

Competitors

A crowded market is actually a good sign, because it means both that there's demand and that none of the existing solutions are good enough. A startup can't hope to enter a market that's obviously big and yet in which they have no competitors. So any startup that succeeds is either going to be entering a market with existing competitors, but armed with some secret weapon that will get them all the users (like Google), or entering a market that looks small but which will turn out to be big (like Microsoft).

混雑した市場は良い。需要があるのに、決定的なプレイヤーがいないから。

成功するスタートアップは、

  • Googleのように、競争の激しい市場に秘密兵器を持って参入するか、
  • Microsoftのように、いまはまだ小さいが、いずれ大きくなる市場に参入する。

Filters

There are two more filters you'll need to turn off if you want to notice startup ideas: the unsexy filter and the schlep filter.

2つのフィルターをオフにせよ:

  • 「つまらない仕事」を排除するフィルター
  • 「めんどくさい仕事」を排除するフィルター

Need

One good trick is to ask yourself whether in your previous job you ever found yourself saying "Why doesn't someone make x? If someone made x we'd buy it in a second." If you can think of any x people said that about, you probably have an idea. You know there's demand, and people don't say that about things that are impossible to build.

仕事で「なんでXを造るやつがいないんだ?」と言ったことがあるなら、それがアイデア。

More generally, try asking yourself whether there's something unusual about you that makes your needs different from most other people's. You're probably not the only one. It's especially good if you're different in a way people will increasingly be.

自分の変わっているところは? → きっと自分だけじゃない。

そういう人々が増えそうなら、特によい。

In fact, one strategy I recommend to people who need a new idea is not merely to turn off their schlep and unsexy filters, but to seek out ideas that are unsexy or involve schleps. Don't try to start Twitter. Those ideas are so rare that you can't find them by looking for them. Make something unsexy that people will pay you for.

つまらない仕事や、めんどくさい仕事を探せ。

つまらない仕事をやってくれるものに対して、みんなお金を払ってくれる。

A good trick for bypassing the schlep and to some extent the unsexy filter is to ask what you wish someone else would build, so that you could use it. What would you pay for right now?

「誰か造ってくれないかな」と思うものを造れ。

Grabage-Collection

Since startups often garbage-collect broken companies and industries, it can be a good trick to look for those that are dying, or deserve to, and try to imagine what kind of company would profit from their demise. For example, journalism is in free fall at the moment. But there may still be money to be made from something like journalism. What sort of company might cause people in the future to say "this replaced journalism" on some axis?

ある衰退産業Yを未来に振り返って「XがYを置き換えた」と呼ばれることになるようなアイデアXは?

Waves

But talking about looking explicitly for waves makes it clear that such recipes are plan B for getting startup ideas. Looking for waves is essentially a way to simulate the organic method. If you're at the leading edge of some rapidly changing field, you don't have to look for waves; you are the wave.

急速に変化する分野で最先端にいるならば、波を探す必要などない。自分こそ波なのだから。

Don't think you are, know you are. - Morphious (The Matrix)