20 Questions for Startup Success, by Norm Meyrowitz

This is a talk given at University of Washington by Norm Meyrowitz on questions every startup should answer. Norm was president of Macromedia and now he advises tech startups.

Here are the 20 questions (see the presentation for more details).

  1. What problem does this product solve?
  2. How does the product solve that problem?
  3. Who are the end users of the product? Is there a large addressable market of actual users? (Who are you selling to?)
  4. Who is your revenue-supplying customer? Are there enough of these paying cusotmers to make a huge business (i.e., is there a crisp, clear business model?)
  5. Does the product solve a problem that end-users/revenue supplying customers actually have?
  6. Are you sure it is a product and not just a “feature”?
  7. Does your stuff easily fit into the way that people already work? Or, are you relying too much on people changing the way they work because your stuff is so great?
  8. Are you too involved in HOW you are building your product rather than WHAT you are building?
  9. Who are the potential partners? Who are the required partners?
  10. What is the go-to-market strategy?
  11. What is your sustainable competitive advantage?
  12. Do you have a time-to-market/first mover advantage? Are you ahead of the pack and can you stay there? Are you too early?
  13. Can you be number 1 or number 2 in this space? Who is the competition?
  14. Is there a team formed/identified with a record of successful ventures? Have they done something like this before?
  15. Is there a “soul” of the team that knows where this product AND business is going for the next few years?
  16. Is anyone on the team insane? Are the members of the team totally passionate and aligned on this business?
  17. Are there product/technology/operations barriers to success? If yes, can they be overcome?
  18. Are there marketing/sales barriers to success? If yes, can they be overcome?
  19. Are there legal barriers to success? If yes, can they be overcome?
  20. Is there an exit strategy?
Marcelo Calbucci

Marcelo Calbucci

I'm a technologist, founder, geek, author, and a runner.