Startup Checklist

A checklist by Rujul Zaparde and Lu Cheng for what a great startup idea needs to hit.

  • Is this a hair on fire problem?
  • Unit economics must be great (i.e. profitable on frst sale)
  • Is there existing budget for this solution? Or are you selling into a decision-maker who has a lot of budget to throw around?
  • What is your wedge? ie. what is the clear distribution strategy we will start with?
  • Is it recurring revenue and selling to businesses (i.e. B2B SaaS)?
  • Is this really sticky /core and super hard to rip out?
  • Is the ACV large enough to sell to even smaller companies (30-100 person) and have it be worthwhile?
  • Why is now the right time to start the company?
  • Does it pass the "bomb' test?
  • What is the barrier to entry? Is this a defensible business model? I.e. is it sticky?
  • What data do you generate? How can you use that data to build a moat?
  • What is the competitive landscape? Is this 10x better than anything else out there?
  • We should not have significant platform risk
  • Does this require approval from just one function? e.g. Is there single player mode?
  • Is the ROI to save money or make more money crystal clear?
  • Is there an existing large company that you can point to in this space?