From Idea to Inception...
Shared by J.Steel · 10d ago · 14 comments

What would be your no.1 tip for someone who is trying to take an Idea for a start up to inception?

cjb · 10d ago

finding 1 user that is super stoked about it and starts throwing thoughts/scenarios at you really quickly; kinda like a super charged brainstorm session, both parties balls of excitement uwu

what are ur ideas rn?

J.Steel · 10d ago

That feels like exactly what I need at the moment.

I have an idea for a dApp that, in essence, will democratise creative work for brands allowing for truly authentic responses to their briefs. I must add, I have no technical or coding experience, but I do have an understanding a dApp ecosystem. I feel like the person who would get excited about this would have the technical experience, as they would be able to understand if this idea is possible to implement. I need to find this person!

AndyDent-Touchgram · 8d ago

Top tip - ask explicitly for negative feedback.

Invert the classic, sometimes implied "do you like my idea" & give people permission to answer quickly, be critical & thus be more interested in giving you an answer.

eg: "What are the top 2 things you'd change on our site?"
"What don't you like about our business name?"
"How can our business be misinterpreted?"
"Name 3 things we're doing wrong"

no technical or coding experience, but I do have an understanding a dApp ecosystem

This worries me a bit. I'm not being rude but have often encountered early stage founders who think they understand something but have very little idea of the real difficulties.

allowing for truly authentic responses to their briefs

I'm a developer with decades of experience specifying work, dealing with clients and sometimes with designers. I have no idea what you mean by this. What do you think is inauthentic about people's responses and how do know that is a wide-spread problem?

J.Steel · 8d ago

Thanks! This a super useful way to reframe it and not something I've considered before.

To your second point, I understand where you're coming from. I should rephrase this to say that I am actively learning about the available tools, components, patterns and platforms for developing applications for Ethereum. I would say I have a basic understanding of this technology at this stage. This has lead me to this idea, and now I am on the path for feedback and expert advice.

To your last point, you sound like you could be the person to obtain some solid feedback haha! I'd love to discuss this with you perhaps outside the forum if you're willing? Or does that defeat the point of this!? In terms of what is inauthentic, let me disclose a little more about the idea.... The idea is a platform that can democratise creates briefs for advertisers to open up the opportunity for more authentic responses. For someone who works in the industry, the amount of times I've seen repackaged ideas from another agency's work pitched to clients is painful - they're inauthentic. The best ideas for creative briefs always seem to come from competitions, and this is a glimpse for advertisers of the type of work they can get back when they democratise who can respond. Additionally, there's a lot of market research that indicates that authenticity is important for consumers when deciding what brands they like and support. Therefore, the messaging that brands communicate should be authentic too. So you've got a demand from both ends.

The idea is pretty similar to any work-for-hire platform, with rankings for both the creator (seller) and the advertiser (buyer), plus an added component of community voting. Essentially, this would be like a GitCoin but for creative responses to briefs.

AndyDent-Touchgram · 8d ago

Interesting example of a blind spot there - as I've spent a lot of time associated with designers, I interpreted creative brief as being one to a designer :-/

I hadn't thought about a possible other use of the term, although it makes a lot of sense in advertising now I think of it. I saw bits of Mad Men as my wife binged it, and we have a great Aussie show Gruen Transfer which pulls apart advertising, so I should have recognised the term in that context.

I'm happy to talk further, you can contact me directly on for things you'd rather keep private. However, in the spirit of this being a mutual learning place, as much as possible let's keep things in public here.

For full disclosure, there is possibly a bit of overlap with some of what I'm considering doing in the Touchgram creative messager although it's unlikely. There is an advertising aspect to Touchgram where advertisers put up their ads to be selected by the sender to be used as a wrapper for other content. So supply is by search and choice, rather than an algorithm. This is still potential future extension rather than near-term plan as I've had negative feedback suggesting a need to rethink.

The best ideas for creative briefs always seem to come from competitions

That's not terribly surprising as a way to select people at an elite level and get their best work. When you take competitions down to the level of 99designs and Fiverr, I've also seen blogs reporting copyright violations.

J.Steel · 8d ago

Yeah, creative brief is quite a broad term as it involves strategy (what is the platform/direction of our message) and the design (how do we bring this to life). Then there is media planning which is a whole other universe. Media planning will decide where that message will go (what channel) to reach the most relevant audiences. In a world of start-ups, a lot of them will not have a creative agency on hand, so a platform like this will be most beneficial to them when they are looking to promote their brand, product or services. Just like NFTs have democratised artwork for digital artists, this platform will look to do the same for creative strategists where brands can benefit. There are no barriers to entry to be a creative strategist. If you are a designer too, you'll be able to offer more than just creative direction. I'd argue the former is the most important, as this gives the overall direction and ideas for design.

I agree, let's keep the conversation going on here for now as it could be useful for others - we're all learning!

Touchgram - i'll check it out. Can I just check this is your website -

AndyDent-Touchgram · 5d ago

Yes that is the site, yes it's sadly in need of work as my days have been mostly spent deep in the core engine for the last few months.

As a one-man product, Touchgram is insanely ambitious - it's like a cross between a game authoring toolkit and PowerPoint, within the confines of 90% of the iPhone screen. I've put a ton of work recently into ensuring that messages are forward compatible so people getting a trivial upgrade don't cause friends to crash if they are behind. That became a rabbit-hole of at least getting the binary document format to cope with at least a year's worth of ideas. Right now, the core engine is more capable than either PowerPoint or Canva.

On the topic of creative briefs and agencies, check out fellow Pioneer who are refining a subscription service to deliver affordable marketing.

Just like NFTs have democratised artwork for digital artists

Yeah, umm, I'm trying not to get too distracted by NFTs but there are some deep gotchas and drastic misrepresentation. I'm working out some ideas in an article and researching it further. Just be aware when people like A16Z say things like uploading to the blockchain as an NFT metaphor, they are obscuring a lot of weaknesses.

An NFT is basically a hash value on a blockchain proving something about a bit of metadata, which is a document sitting off the blockchain, that describes an artwork that is stored somewhere else.

If all the external stuff is preserved then the thing on the blockchain is a useful proof, otherwise it's just a number.

Also see the Inside briefing tomorrow

cjb · 9d ago

that's dope! i hope you find the right counterpart!

curious what you'll do to allow authentic responses. do you mean more verified bids from creators to brand briefs?

J.Steel · 8d ago

Authenticity comes from democratising briefs, essentially allowing anyone to respond. Creators can mint their responses as NFTs (like a blog, artwork, asset etc.) making it one of a kind.

jackson · 7d ago

This is one of the most practical answers to that question I've read!

kendsouza · 8d ago

Avoid the naysayers. If you believe you can build it, implement it, sell it and monetize it, ya do not need a tip or motivation from anybody.

Adam · 8d ago

Select an idea you feel you can build in a weekend.

J.Steel · 7d ago

What do you say to people who say "Rome wasn't built in a day"?

Adam · 7d ago

I'd say.. indeed Rome wasn't built in a day, it was built over a period of 1,000 years. Do you have a figurative 1,000 years to build your project? Start with a hut.