Photo: Associated Press
We really like this idea. To evaluate startup ideas, Farecast founder Hugh Crean has invented something called the $20 Starbucks test, Snooty Monkey founder Sean Johnson says in a blog post.Here’s how it works: you get a $20 bill and walk into the nearest Starbucks. And then you walk up to a random person and tell them you’re worried about your brother and you’d like to buy them a cup of coffee if they’ll just give you a couple of minutes to talk.
You tell them your brother is about to put all his life savings into a business idea that you think is totally crazy and your brother’s wife has enlisted you to come up with arguments about why the idea sucks.
…And then you pitch them your idea, and take note of all their objections.
Rinse and repeat until your $20 are spent.
The “worried about your brother” part is great for two reasons. First: when making your first impression, people are less likely to brush you off if you say you’re worried about your brother. Second: if you pitch your idea as your own, people are apt to use kid gloves and be insincere. If you’re talking about a brother who’s not there, people will be more candid in shooting it down.
We really love this idea. It sounds like a great, painless way to get candid, “man on the street” opinions about a startup idea, which are a good first step in evaluating a startup idea and making sure you’re not missing what’s in front of your nose.
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