Question: How did you decide between starting a business about something you're passionate about vs. starting a business you know will do well? What factors did you consider?
Measure Your Customers' Willingness to Pay
"Although passion is a pre-requisite, it alone may not be enough to build a sustainable business. Before going full-time into my first startup, we spent almost a year iterating on our product based on user feedback until we had a few paying early adopters and a profitable business model. Startups are experiments and it's critical for founders to dispel the tunnel vision that passion can lead to."
If It Is Your First Business, Go With the One You Know Will Do Well
"If it is your first time, go with the one you know will do well. This way, you will establish yourself as an entrepreneur, understand the tricks of the trade and make money. Once you achieve success, then start a business you are passionate about. This time, you can better succeed in your passion because you'll have foundation, money, experience, connections and a recipe for success."
The Money Will Follow What You Love
"There are so many challenges facing entrepreneurs that you want to eliminate doubt at every opportunity. When you ask yourself, "why am I doing this anyway?" your answer should be just shy of wanting to change the world. If your answer is "because I think I can make some money," you'll quickly abandon the idea for the next one. Start and stick with what you know and what you're passionate about."
Having Passion Is a Must
"Don't start a business unless you're passionate about it. Period. You'll hate the 18-hour-days, endless meetings and talking about your company nonstop if you don't have passion. Sometimes, passion is so important that it even trumps making money, as is the case with the nonprofit, PerDiems, I founded when my passion compelled me to help fight hunger in America."
Sharpen Your Tools
"It's too common to hear advice about starting up with something you're passionate about. But if the opportunity you find does not appeal to your passion but something you will do well in, consider it an opportunity to sharpen your skill set. Focus on building skills that will increase your chance of success when you do come across a business that aligns with your passion!"
Start a Business That Solves a Pain Point
"My sister and I started Allocadia because we experienced a pain point and we were passionate about solving the problem. We didn’t do research to find a gap in the market -- we experienced it first-hand. If you find a true pain point you’re passionate about solving, you won’t have to spend time convincing people they need the solution. They’ll already be looking for it."
Create a Passion for Success
"Business is NOT easy, especially starting out and having little money or experience. It's a LOT easier to try to start a business about one's passion if one has had past success and has the financial freedom to invest the time and money into that passion. Early on, choose to make having business success your passion, and once you have that success, you'll have more flexibility."
Focus on the Team and the Timing
"My co-founder and I had complementary skills and we both had been scanning the market for a year. My co-founder first left his job and got into building the product, and when we got $1M in seed funding, I left my job and got into it full-time. We both had passion about running our own company and the problem (market potential) seemed big enough. You need passion to run the company, as market potential keep changing."