🎯 About this template 🎯

You will most likely have tons of startup ideas! The 1.1 Find Critical Issues template helps you come up with startup ideas and critical issues you can focus on. The goal is to begin with a wide range of ideas and then gradually filter them down to the best one(s) through rigorous exploration and validation. Think of it like a CRM for your critical issues.


The process we recommend is a five-step approach. Step 1 to 3 are covered in the “Getting Started” stage of the B2B SaaS Scaling Benchmark, step 4 and 5 are part of the later stages.

  1. Unqualified Ideas: This is the broadest level of the funnel, also known as the 'ideation' phase, where every conceivable idea is welcomed. There are no bad ideas at this stage. All suggestions, inspirations, and concepts, regardless of how outlandish they might seem, are included. The primary purpose of this stage is to foster a creative environment and stimulate innovative thinking.
  2. Exploration: After collecting a multitude of unqualified ideas, the next step involves performing desk research on each of these ideas. This might involve looking at market trends, competitor analysis, industry reports, and other secondary data sources. The purpose of this stage is to gain an initial understanding of the idea's feasibility and potential, thereby narrowing down the list.
  3. Deep Dives: The ideas that survive the exploration phase move on to the 'deep dive' stage. This involves conducting more detailed and in-depth research, often through primary methods such as interviews or surveys. The objective is to gather firsthand insights from potential customers or users, which can help understand the demand, usability, and any possible challenges that might arise.
  4. Validate: The validation stage is a critical step where the startup idea is tested in real-world conditions to determine if there is a genuine market need and whether the proposed solution effectively addresses that need. This might involve creating a minimum viable product (MVP) to gauge interest or running beta tests to receive user feedback. The feedback from this step can be invaluable in refining the product or service before the full-scale launch.
  5. Launch: The final stage of the funnel is the launch. At this point, the startup idea has been thoroughly researched, refined, tested, and validated. The idea is now considered qualified and ready to be fully developed and launched into the market. This step might involve full-scale production, marketing campaigns, sales strategies, etc. The performance of the product or service in the market will provide further validation or highlight areas for improvement.

Funnel Template

Below is a funnel template you can use to track your ideas along the entire process:

Idea Base