How to startup an expensive idea?


Ok, so I've got (yet another) idea for a startup, which I think is pretty good. The innovative and most expensive part of it might just not be possible but the project could fallback to a good implementation of other parts in which I've got some expertise. Problem is that for either I need capital. A lot.

Being expensive makes me wonder if this idea is in its proper era or if it's even ever conceivable, since new eras may bring new paradigm shifts and ultimately make this obsolete - or just make it cheap.

Now I'm looking for reviews and what would be the next step:

  • if I should invest time in something else first to capitalize for this;
  • if I should keep on planning and/or insist in finding investors on this since it's my dream;
  • if I should just give up on this because I'd be fooling myself with an utopia, and go for something else;
  • if I should try building it on my own on my free time over 10 years;
  • something else.

Any tips for this specific case?

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asked Jan 28 '11 at 02:13
120 points

3 Answers


Financial and other development restrictions can improve an idea by making it more focused and clear. Solving problems with boat loads of money is a lot easier than solving a problem with almost no money. Solving a problem with no money requires that a solution be precise, elegant, clear, simple and effective. We'd all love to attack the world's problem with huge investments, but the profit lies in solving the world's problems without them...this is why entrepreneurship is so hard.

If I understood the "introduction" you posted, you want to solve the problem of software usability.
Anyone can imagine a system to solve the problem of software usability that leverages 3D graphics, contributions from the world's online community and brilliant AI, however the money is in solving the problem of software usability without all these systems.

Solving a problem with no money is hard, it requires deep creativity and insight, but the cheap solution is often the most effective and desirable.

answered Jan 28 '11 at 03:03
241 points
  • I disagree on the "anyone can imagine", but I totally agree it is not the idea that makes it happen. To me you're basically saying "do everything, all of the above, but focus on the cheapest parts/ideas" which I like. Just keep in mind if I take "expensive money" part out of the equation the time will grow up too much and make it unfeasible - so for this specific case there's still the need for some balance if it's ever going to be built. By "expensive" I didn't mean just the money. – Cawas 12 years ago
  • +1, And this reminds me of a famous quote about a failed Swedish entrepreneur: "It's easy to build a billion dollar business if it took you five billions to get there." – John Sj√∂lander 12 years ago


I would assume you would have to go the route of "dreaded venture capital." You might also consider making a pitch to a local entrepreneurship center. I think many of them have competitions where they try to link people to seed money to start the business.

answered Jan 28 '11 at 02:44
468 points


Looking at your idea, from what I understand, you are trying to create a CRM which defines itself based on the data provided to it - therefore, a hospital and a software company could use the exact same program.

In reality, this may not work, since what you are trying to do is "boil the ocean" . Yes, you've defined a real problem, and a theoretical approach to solving it that might actually work (only time would tell). However, the scope of your project is such that in the universe in which we exist, this is highly unlikely to be developed, even if money was not a problem.

Further, as a result of the scope of the project, profitability will be difficult to achieve, since your costs to develop are huge, and marketing this to companies will take further funds. To make this truly affordable to all companies could very well remove any chance of profitablity from the project as a whole.

That's not to say you shouldn't go forward, but you do need to deal with scope. To continue with the expression "boil the ocean", you may want to try to boil something smaller, a subset of the eventual theoretical scope, perhaps a small lake.

answered Jan 28 '11 at 03:19
4,692 points

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