I am a founder and constant learner. My background is in computer science but I am always an entrepreneur. I have worked for Netscape, Yahoo! and Mozilla and today I am launching multiple product — I am failing incredibly and also learning a lot and I am certain that we have serious subjects to talk. The topics that I have studied, and continue to be involved, in a serious approach, therefore beyond surface: canvas, MVP, customer discovery, qualitative, culture, and related early stage topics.
Books I study — Andy Grove High Output Management, Zero to One, Measure What Matters (OKR), Radical Focus (OKR), Value Proposition Design (Lean), The Startup Way (Lean, Innovation), Maslow on Management (Management, Psychology), Conscious Business (Culture), The Hard Things about Hard Things (Culture), How (Culture), Design Thinking (Innovation, Lean)
Coursera Courses I did
Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business Specialization Issuing Organization: Coursera Issue Date: July 2015 Credential ID: 3UJHNRR3Z77T Credential URL: https://www.coursera.org/account/accomplishments/specialization/3UJHNRR3Z77T
Business Model Canvas: A Tool for Entrepreneurs and Innovators (Project-Centered Course) University System of Georgia Grade Achieved: 97.1%
Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects McMaster University & University of California San Diego Grade Achieved: 96.7%
Coursera Mentor Community and Training Course Coursera Community Team Grade Achieved: 97.8%
How to Finance and Grow Your Startup – Without VC University of London & London Business School Grade Achieved: 98.1%
Cracking the Creativity Code: Discovering Ideas Technion - Israel Institute of Technology Grade Achieved: 88.7%
Entrepreneurship Capstone University of Maryland, College Park Grade Achieved: 97.1%
New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs University of Maryland, College Park Grade Achieved: 75.0%
Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace University of Maryland, College Park Grade Achieved: 89.8%
Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies:The First Step in Entrepreneurship University of Maryland, College Park Grade Achieved: 97.0%
I was going to say that I didn't find the idea interesting. But then, when I read Assaf's comment, and specifically when I have visited the provided example, of https://www.houzz.com, I was like "wow, interesting".
I wanted to start my answer with this duality to show a key challenge for you. That when you put the building blocks like you did, for example saying "a blog that sells items" you run the risk of others imagining things that can be very poor; and you could stumble in people that don't understand or think in something completely different from what you perhaps have envisioned.
Perhaps another way for you to explore your idea development phase is to ask less to others about your idea if the idea is defined in a limited fashion, like the above example.
And to move to the feedback collection phase when you have a more developed story. I recommend to you to consider tools like the Business Model Canvas but be careful to not fall in doing the process thinking that the doing of the process is actually working for you. Tools like the Business Model Canvas, or other process for design and discovery, are just lean-oriented tools — they don't move forward exactly, they are intended to learning with iteration model.
If you move forward with these lean methods, try to come up with a number of variations of business models for your ideas and remember that each of them are not final. For all models that you come up you may eventually pivot/change them as you iterate and learn, with feedback from experts-in-the-field, customers, etc.
I am pointing one direction, or thread, but keep in mind that this process involves lots of "triangulation" with other parallel studies. For example, studying the market, competition, trends etc.
One other thing to keep in mind is to go look for the customer needs — there are a number of Jobs-to-be-done articles and frameworks that are going to give you some rigor to keep the customer job/need story(ries) tied to your plan.
I covered some process to start moving but don't think that there is a formula here. Think that all lean methods for idea creation, discovery, and validation; are in fact learning iteration tools. Good luck.
When you say "2 platform app" are you referring to a multi-sided platform? or specifically a 2 sided marketplace? Like Uber that has a driver and a passenger? If this is the case I recommend you reading about multisided platforms — https://www.amazon.com.br/Matchmakers-New-Economics-Multisided-Platforms/dp/1633691721. Once you read it I will be glad to talk with you with this VIP link https://clarity.fm/mgalli/crack806-multisided but keep in mind I am not an expert, just a leaner too that can offer some little help.
With other *straight-to-investor* answers taken care here (and by the way I appreciate those straight answers because I am an entrepreneur that lived in the past in Silicon Vally and find myself today in Brazil) I would like to throw a contribution to this thread.
The consideration that crossing that barrier, finding your way from the 3rd-world country towards a remote investor, is yet another test. Of course, there is the question of market, so of course an investor that does not want to invest in Brazil won't be willing to know much about your startup idea targeting Brazil.
But taking that aside, we should remember that a great investor is busy with a network around her, her network is streaming relevant information about possible investments to make.
Therefore the way to get there has to do with climbing the network up. Solving your locality barrier, can be thought as a test similarly to what Marc Andreessen said about pitch, that "the formal presentation is another test" .
Beyond this test component, the following assertion in the same interview from Marc really shows one of the most critical things you gotta tackle, that "every other pitch you’re ever gonna make is going to be to somebody who’s going to be much worse than us [investors] right? customers".
In other words, if you are able to convince customers to your solution, you have paved one of the most difficult things for an early stage. Sorry for potential distance from the main question but I feel this is anyway very related.
Other related point is to seek top investment firms that are looking at emerging countries. There are cases of top VC firms, like Sequoia, that are always looking for fresh perspectives about investments, which includes solving this barrier.
Considering that you mentioned MVP in the context of Eric Ries work, I will assume that you are not referring to a small version of a big product, and instead to a hypothesis that is presented in the form of a very simple materialisation — sometimes it's even fake.
Therefore, an MVP, as a tool to test hypothesis is probably not the element that holds the value *in it* — it may actually be a gate so that values are stored somewhere else, perhaps on the network and storage side.
In other words, consider that you hire agency AA to make an MVP A and agency BB for an MVP B. I will force this illustrative situation to say that A is a thesis and B is an antithesis. Both MVPs in execution would generate data intelligence to your learning backstage. Thus, if BB decides to clone B they would end up not in a great advantage position. This illustration is to make a case that the intelligence is the backstage, or that it can be placed there.
It should also be reminded that your advantage is strategic and can be fragmented, also in the backstage. In the historical case of Airbnb, they faced a competitor with larger resources (10x $) that claimed they would clone them entirely really fast. Airbnb kept alive due to their stronger community and other core values that were not in any source code.
Of course this whole question makes more sense with more specific context and clarity. Anyway, my case here makes an alignment with what I think is the view presented by Eric, that the "core business" can be in fact more like a core business advantage of leadership. Is the first move to interpret the MVP that makes the team ahead of the game. It's the move of having a great community, for example.