Founder, backed/incubated by a top university - 3 ideas to be executed same time through 3 diff corp. What's wrong with this scenario?

Founder's objective is not to delay executing all ideas - web firm partnerships will bring higher execution success probability. Each idea will be executed by 3 different web firms through equity partnerships. Investors can invest seperately in the 3 diff corp. Founder will create holding firm to consolidate his shares from the 3 corp. What's wrong w/ this scenario? Help.


There is nothing more harmful to a good idea than other ideas. By that I mean, the inability to decide which idea is worth pursuing over others, causes each idea to suffer when trying to distribute resources in support of more than one concept at a time.

Your question presumes that the most important aspect of launching an online business is to have a site built. That's only where the hardest work begins. In order to achieve any traction whatsoever, a daily focus is required to optimize a site's messaging and conversions, optimize customer acquisition tactics, and iterate based on customer feedback.

The idea that a single founder can achieve by having to do what is a full day's work for one site multiplied across 3 different sites is fraught with problems.

You may wish to check my recent answers as I answered a question earlier this week about how investors perceive multi-product companies and their founders. The bottom-line being the idea that this is going to produce a more attractive outcome to investors is also one that has proven time and again to result in failure.

Happy to talk all this through in a call if you'd like to dive deeper.

Answered 10 years ago

I must echo Tom's contribution. It is very difficult to create a successful business based on one idea.

If you try and do it with 3 separate ideas you are only setting yourself up for failure.

You should determine which is most likely to be successful and most profitable. Then run with that idea.

Answered 10 years ago

1. What's the underlying T&Cs with the incubation partner i.e. University?
2. What's the underlying engagement model and exit understanding with three different web firms?
3. What do you mean by higher execution success probability?
4. What are the qualitative/quantitative parameters to measure the above hypothesis?
5. What are the qualitative and quantitative goals set by the founder? Is it only hasty execution or more?
6. What's the current status of the idea?

There's never anything wrong with any scenario. Just, our understanding of the larger picture and clarity of vision. Your answer may help me to help you further.

Answered 10 years ago

There is a big argument for FOCUS on one rather than many but if you look at one of the largest software companies in the world, Autodesk, they actually started with many cofounders (20?) with many ideas/products. They agreed to throw like 20 ideas at the market and see which one got traction. The CAD software got traction first so they put more resources (cofounders time) into that and it took off.

Really interesting case study and works a bit on the theory that only 5% of ideas will get traction so why not throw 20 ideas up and see what sticks.

Intel has a similar story too I believe.


Answered 10 years ago

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