The meat grinder approach for startup ideas

Raw Meat

I first heard of the meat grinder approach for finding startup ideas in a post by Tyler Tringas.

Tyler doesn’t try to find good business ideas. He uses the meat grinder approach to filter out all the bad ideas he has.

So for a few goals that I’ve been noodling on for next year having an idea meat grinder will be helpful. But before I go into detailing out the my initial meat grinder blueprints, something I’ll do in a later post. I wanted to share the method of filtering out bad ideas.

Coming up with new ideas especially business ideas should be effortless. You can come up with 10 a day minimum. This is even easier after becoming an idea machine.

Just try it. Take 15 minutes to see if you can come up with 10 business ideas right now. Don’t judge or filter yourself just let it flow.

If you don’t already you’ll have a huge backlog of potential ideas. This is when the meat grinder process comes into play.

“The process goes like this. You see a problem. You quickly sketch the outline of what a business that solves that problem might look like. Then you put that business through a brutal meat grinder of questions. You’re actively trying to poke holes in the idea and stress test it. Beat it up. Be actively trying to discard it and move onto the next one. You need to refine the meat grinder, get really good and fast at obliterating ideas.” — Tyler Tringas

If the idea fails one question then drop it. Like my boy Jay-Z says it’s, “on to the next one”.

So the approach lives and dies by the quality of your questions. In the original post the question are for solo-founders looking to replace their jobs. With a change to questions your meat grinder could generate VC funded moonshot ideas. If that’s your cup of tea.

Here are some of the basic questions in Tyler’s meat grinder for business ideas.

  • Can I make this?
  • Are people currently spending money on it?
  • How will I get the first 25 customers? Then the next 250?
  • If it works, will it be sustainable?
  • Am I the person to build this business?

“The secret to coming up with a successful business idea is putting hundreds of ideas through the meat grinder.” — Tyler Tringas

It feels like the meat grinder approach seems simple on the surface but can be powerful in practice.

Going through this process would have helped me avoid the mistakes I had with Samson. I think it’s helpful to have a process for finding ideas that will not only work but work best for you.

You can learn more about it in the original post, “How to Get Startup Ideas: The Meat Grinder Approach”.

I’m looking forward to finding questions to use in my own meat grinder process.

What questions do you think would be helpful for you?

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