Stop Talking About Your “Brilliant” Startup Idea!


Ned Dwyer is a Startup Weekend success story.

After teaming with Pete Murray (no, not the guitar-strumming singer) at Startup Weekend Melbourne in 2011, their project Theme Pivot took out first prizeSensing they were on to something big, the duo kept plugging away, rebranding their service as Tweaky – a marketplace for minor website customisations (ie. tweaks!) – winning shoutouts from tech luminaries like Jason Fried along the way, and ultimately landing $460,000 in funding from the 99designs team.

Ned wrote a brilliant article on last week and kindly agreed to let us republish it here for the Startup Weekend Perth crew. As you will see, Ned has some wise words  for all those who are tossing up whether to pitch their “brilliant” idea at #SWPerth … Oh, and by the way, did we mention that he grew up Mount Lawley and North Perth? Go Ned!

Stop talking about your “brilliant” startup idea!

Aspiring startup founders need to stop talking about their brilliant startup ideas.

Nobody cares about your idea.

It’s an idea backed up with action that counts.

Initially nobody cares because nobody gets it.

It takes time to be able to concisely articulate an idea; it takes work to build something to test its boundaries and its opportunities; it takes energy to explain why it should exist.

Better than a well articulated idea is an idea that comes with evidence of its brilliance: market validation.

Stop talking to your friends about your ideas. 

If they grok the concept, they will ignore its many flaws. Just as they do for your own flaws.

Your friends are ultimately not your target market. You will either get a false sense of market validation if they like the idea; or a deflated ego if they don’t get it.

Stop talking to customers about your ideas

Your customers are people who will buy and use your product. To do either of these things there needs to be more than an idea, there needs to be something they can see, touch or interact with.

To show them something tangible that they can use shows that you are serious. You need to build something.

Stop telling me your ideas

I don’t want to hear about your startup idea. Don’t ask me for advice or introductions or investment.

When I hear a great idea I want to know everything about it – How does it work? What did you launch with? How are you selling it? How many have you sold? Who are your customers? What are your distribution channels?

If you can’t answer those questions then I’d prefer to wait to hear about it when you can.

If you can answer those questions then I definitely want to chat and more.

99% of ideas are vapour, let’s talk about the 1% of ideas that are in a state of progress.

Talk is cheap. Take action. Put ideas into practise.