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Framework “Jockey and horse. Framework for assessing the attractiveness of a startup”

Bootstrapping Your Dreams: A Jockey & Horse Framework for Early-Stage Startups

Founders, imagine this: you’re a jockey with a brilliant idea — a revolutionary new product or service. But without the right horse (your startup), even the most skilled rider (you) can’t win the race (achieve success). So, how do you assess your startup’s potential, ensuring it’s the perfect steed to carry you to victory?

Here’s a simple framework to help you evaluate your early-stage startup, inspired by the classic jockey-and-horse duo:

The Jockey: Your Startup’s Core

  • Market Attractiveness (The Racecourse): Is there a clear and sizable market need for your product or service? Is the industry growing, or is it nearing saturation? Research market trends, competitor analysis, and target audience demographics to understand the racecourse’s terrain.
  • Product/Solution (The Horse): Does your offering truly solve a problem or provide a valuable proposition? Is it innovative, user-friendly, and clearly differentiated from competitors? Remember, a strong horse can overcome a challenging track.

The Horse: Your Team’s Abilities

  • Team Competence (The Jockey’s Skill): Do you have the right team in place to navigate the twists and turns of the race? Do they possess the necessary skills, experience, and passion to bring your vision to life?
  • Execution Capability (The Jockey’s Strategy): Can your team translate your idea into a viable business model? Do they have a clear roadmap for development, marketing, and scaling your venture? Remember, even the most skilled jockey needs a winning strategy.

Using the Framework:

  1. Evaluate Each Factor: For each element (Market Attractiveness, Product/Solution, Team Competence, Execution Capability), score your startup on a scale (e.g., 1–5) based on its current strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Identify Gaps: Where are the low points in your scoring? These areas represent opportunities for improvement. Perhaps you need to refine your target market or seek additional team members with specific skillsets.
  3. Develop a Plan: Based on your identified gaps, create a plan to address them. This might involve conducting further market research, pivoting your product offering, or seeking mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs.
  4. Continual Assessment: Remember, this framework is a dynamic tool. As your startup evolves, revisit and reassess each factor regularly.

Remember, founders, just like a jockey hones their skills and a horse is carefully trained, your startup needs continuous development. By using this framework and iteratively improving your “jockey-and-horse” combination, you’ll be well on your way to winning the startup race!

I propose using this framework to evaluate the startup idea “Chatbot for adults in microlearning,” for example, for the Indian market

Evaluating “Chatbot for Adults in Microlearning” with the Jockey & Horse Framework

Let’s use the framework to assess the potential of a “Chatbot for adults in microlearning” startup in India:

The Jockey (Core):

Market Attractiveness:


  • Microlearning is a growing trend due to busy schedules and attention spans.
  • Adults are increasingly seeking flexible and accessible learning opportunities.
  • India has a large young population with high smartphone penetration.


  • Competition exists from traditional learning platforms and existing educational chatbots.



  • Chatbots offer a convenient and personalized learning experience.
  • Microlearning focuses on bite-sized content, ideal for busy adults.


  • Content quality and user experience are crucial for user engagement.
  • Chatbots require ongoing development and refinement.

The Horse (Team):

Team Competence:

You’ll need expertise in:

  • Chatbot development and AI.
  • Educational content creation (adult learners).
  • Marketing and user acquisition.

Execution Capability:

A clear roadmap is needed for:

  • Chatbot development and training.
  • Content creation strategy.
  • Marketing and user growth plan.

Target Market Estimation (India):

This is a rough estimate, but consider:

  • Adult Population: India has over 900 million adults (18+).
  • Smartphone Users: Over 750 million smartphone users in India.
  • Learning Interests: Focus on specific demographics and learning needs (e.g., professionals seeking upskilling, parents seeking learning resources).

Number of Teams Needing This Service:

Difficult to quantify, but consider:

  • Existing Educational Institutions: Large number of schools, colleges, and universities might benefit from offering microlearning via chatbots.
  • Corporate Training Departments: Many companies could utilize chatbots for employee training and upskilling.
  • Independent Trainers/Coaches: Individual trainers or coaches could adopt chatbots to deliver their content.


  • This is a high-level assessment. Conduct thorough market research to refine estimates.
  • India offers a vast potential market, but competition will be present.

Next Steps:

  • Conduct in-depth market research to validate target audience and identify specific learning needs.
  • Develop a prototype chatbot and test it with potential users.
  • Refine your product and marketing strategy based on user feedback.
  • Build a strong team with relevant expertise.

By utilizing the “Jockey & Horse” framework and conducting thorough market research, you can assess the viability of your “Chatbot for adults in microlearning” startup in India. Remember, continuous improvement and adaptation are key to success!

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