Ideas, Startups & In-Betweens

"... that's my startup!" he finished explaining his idea. Last time we met he was onto some other idea. I asked him again,
"But what about the app you were building a month ago?"
"Oh, that? That's my another startup!"
"[Gulp!] Oh, I see. How many startups do you have, again?"
"Erm.. dunno... several. 5-6, I guess."

Suddenly, startup is cheap. The cost of the word has gone down. Every weekend app is, now, a startup. I am no expert on terminology, and there is no one right way to anything; but I I think there is a better way to see things:

Problem > Solution [the Idea] > Experiment > Project > Start-up

The Problem

You experience or observe a problem. Maybe you wanted a tool to schedule tweets without putting worrying about time. Maybe you really thought that banking sucks. Something that is pain-in-the-ass or maybe something that you know, can be done better.

Without a problem there is no solution.

The Solution aka Ze Idea!

The Eureka moment! Overrated, but that's where passion flows. There is already too much said about this so I won't say more. But want to point, Eureka moment won't be possible if Archimedes didn't have a problem to solve.

Experiment

You start experimenting with possible soultion(s). You just build the bare minimum (or MVP). Test your assumptions against real-life (read: lean). This is getting your hands in the clay. Things start to take shape.

Most of the apps are experiments. You never know if they will succeed or not. hackerByte was a good experiment I did with UK, AJ and Prajjwal.

The Project

Things are going good. Your experiments are stable, growing and you are onto something big here. People are using your stuff, they are really liking some and hating some. Good point. It's taking all of your weekends and almost all the free time.

Besperk is a nice example of a project.

The Start-up

Now things have gotten so big that you don't have time to do anything else. Maybe it's pooling in money too. It's asking you to leave your day-job. When you think it's time you have a business around it - and you are trying to get it right.

This is huge. You have to do it full-time. Also, startup doesn't happen from home.

Now, these are not hardcore rules that can be applied to everything. But that's the general scheme of things in my mind. What do you think?