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This really is the fun time in a startup’s life; figuring out what you’re going to do.  You get to throw ideas around, you get to dream, and nothing feels like work. The sky’s the limit. And we don’t have to worry about silly things like failing yet.

While throwing around ideas in an early stage, you have to remind yourself to assume a few things:

  1. If you can imagine an interface for it, it can be built.
    OK, maybe we haven’t figured out teleportation yet, but in general, this is a great thing to remind yourself when your team starts spiraling into technical details.
  2. Disk space is infinite and free.
    Also not entirely true, but close enough to true and heading that way.
  3. Bandwidth is infinite and free.
    Like disk space, not entirely true, but it’s close enough for brainstorming purposes. I should add, though, that this is a good assumption for your online business, though not necessarily for your users, especially if your product/service is to be used on a mobile device.

    You may think that disk space and bandwidth isn’t free for little startups with no money. Even if it isn’t for you, it will be essentially free for your competitors. I can guarantee you Google and Facebook don’t think about those limitations.

  4. Patent? What patent?
    Obviously, don’t dump an idea because someone else has a patent on something similar. Note I said “patent” and not “copyright”. If your idea is based on plastering Mickey Mouses all over the place, good luck with that one.
  5. Consumers don’t worry about security too much.
    Unless your idea is specifically about security, I wouldn’t worry about users’ apprehensions about security. Mint.com got millions of people to give them their most sensitive credentials (financials) and weren’t backed by a big behemoth with a strong security reputation. People will give you whatever information you want, as long as they see value in your product and you look trustworthy.
  6. You can get more investment than you think.
    The VCs aren’t going to throw money at anything, but they all want to find the next big thing. If they put $100K into your company, and you get acquired for $10M, they’ll be happy for you, but they’re not going to do any backflips. They’re dying to put in $100M and you getting acquired/IPOing for $10B. You just have to give them a reason to do it.
  7. Think bigger.
    That all leads to the most obvious, but still understated point. Think (realistically) bigger.
Definitely leave comments if you have more.  I’ll follow this up soon with the 7 (or so) things I think you can’t assume when brainstorming ideas for your next startup.