QUALITALKS #3: “Ideas are worth nothing”
QUALITALKS #3: “Ideas are worth nothing”

QUALITALKS #3: “Ideas are worth nothing”

What we’ve learned from David Grübl

Last Wednesday, the QUALITANCE Headquarters was the meeting spot for over 60 tech enthusiasts: they all got together for the third edition of our trademark tech talk model, QUALITALKS, and to meet David Grübl.

First things first: who’s David Grübl?

David is one of the young brilliant minds from the San Francisco based innovation studio Fact0ryX. He’s our kind of guy: prolific, daring and precocious. He founded his first company at the age of 17 and, ever since, he has been building web/mobile applications, developing prototypes and spinning out new companies at boggling speed. For the past year he’s been working at Fact0ryX with the Google[x] co-founder and QUALITANCE advisor, Tom Chi.

David builds open source tools and contributes to creating new start-up companies through products that focus on truly changing user lives and that bring net value to society.

His secret? A methodology called Rapid Idea Devalidation

David asks the scariest question for any aspiring entrepreneur: when was the last time you had a brilliant idea for the next startup hit but never got to actually turn it into a business because you didn’t know where to start from? A lot of people are struggling with the issue of having potential they’re not trained to pursue. Most get stuck early in the decision making process. Not David.

Rapid Idea Devalidation empowers you to quickly pick ideas that are worthy of exploration. It enables you to identify the right techniques for building meaningful products and find the problems that are really worth solving. It’s all based on Tom’s Prototype Thinking philosophy, “doing is the best way of thinking” – the whole point of Rapid Idea Devalidation is that a startup is pretty much a bet on an idea. Nobody can guarantee it’s going to work and you won’t find out if it does until you actually do it. How does it work? Instead of trying to validate multiple ideas, eliminate those that are least likely to work.

Keep your eyes open to feedback, get ready to take on even the harshest reality and, most important of all, don’t ignore evidence against yourself and your idea, learn from it instead. It all comes down to a set of simple rules.

Devalidator starter kit

Three basic rules from David Grübl for using Rapid Idea Devalidation for building a startup:

  1. Stop overthinking and start doing. Sure, having a plan is great for your personal comfort, but things are never going to run according to it. So get used to that idea, start doing instead of thinking and let the plan create itself through experimenting what works and what doesn’t.
  2. If you need to explain your prototype idea, you failed. Ideally, you won’t need more than one minute to explain your idea to someone who’s never heard of it. The simpler you keep it, the more chances it has to be a success and be understood, loved and used by thousands of people. If your idea is short enough to be pitched in an elevator you’ve hit the jackpot.
  3. Don’t get attached to your idea. Statistically speaking, 98% of new startups fail within the first year of life. It’s a tough market out there and the way to keep up with it is keep making. If you waste your time mourning after an idea that didn’t work out you’re missing out on developing new ideas and learning from your own failures.


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