Generating Successful Startup Ideas: Tips from Michael Seibel

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This article is a summary of a YouTube video "How to Get and Test Startup Ideas - Michael Seibel" by Y Combinator
TLDR Successful companies can start from simple ideas, and brainstorming with friends, staying motivated, and focusing on solving the problem rather than perfecting the product are key to success.

Key insights

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    Your startup idea doesn't have to be great from the start, as long as you're open to pivoting and adapting as you go along.
  • 💡
    Start with a problem instead of an idea when thinking about startups, as it's easier to grade a problem and find solutions.
  • 💡
    Keeping a "problem book" and writing down notes on daily problems or complaints from friends and family can lead to more successful startup ideas.
  • 💡
    When thinking about starting a startup, it's important to consider why you are uniquely qualified to work on the problem you've identified.
  • 💔
    Don't fall in love with your MVP, as it's most likely not going to solve the problem or is going to solve the problem very poorly.
  • 🚀
    To avoid being too in love with your initial product, release it quickly and treat it as something that can change, develop, and improve.
  • 💡
    An MVP can be built and released quickly to test whether or not a startup idea can actually solve a problem, but initial users should be hand-picked to ensure they are the right type of customer.


  • Can a simple idea lead to a successful company?

    — Yes, the evolution of into Twitch demonstrates that a simple idea can lead to a successful company.

  • How can I stay motivated when solving a problem?

    — Keeping a problem book and brainstorming with friends can help you stay motivated when solving a problem.

  • What should I focus on when building a Minimum Viable Product?

    — Focus on the first solution you will release to users and don't become too attached to it as it may not solve the problem effectively.

  • How can I determine if a solution to a problem is feasible?

    — Having a personal connection to a problem and brainstorming with friends can help determine if a solution is feasible.

  • What is the key to recruiting co-founders for a startup?

    — Having productive brainstorming sessions with friends to determine if you can work well together and are uniquely qualified to pursue a problem of interest.

Timestamped Summary

  • 💡
    00:00 evolved into Twitch, proving that a successful company can start from a simple idea.
  • 💡
    The service summarizes and extracts key ideas from text.
  • 💡
    Keeping a problem book and brainstorming with friends can lead to successful solutions by staying motivated and determining feasibility.
  • 💡
    Brainstorming with friends is key to finding co-founders who are a good fit and have the necessary skills to tackle a problem.
  • 🔍
    Look at previous attempts and products to gain a basic understanding and compare unique insights when solving a common problem.
  • 💡
    Focus on your MVP and don't get too attached to it, as it may not effectively solve the problem.
  • 💡
    Focus on solving the problem, not perfecting the product, and test it quickly to see if it's feasible.
  • 🚀
    Build MVP, hand-pick users, filter heavily to solve the right customer's problem.
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This article is a summary of a YouTube video "How to Get and Test Startup Ideas - Michael Seibel" by Y Combinator
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