You have an idea for a start up that you might want to devote some years of your life to. However, you don't have anyone to bounce the idea off of yet. Here are some people to ask for advice about your idea, and some people not to seek advice from.
Don't Talk to Friends
You might try to reach out to friends for help with your start up idea. This is usually not the best idea, because there are a few possible reactions you don't need. For one, friends might be overly encouraging to your idea rather than giving it an honest appraisal. That would lead you on the path of starting a business that isn't as good as it could be. On the other hand, if you have overly critical or cautious friends, they might make you feel bad or ambivalent about an idea that held potential. In either case, it is better to seek out someone who is more knowledgeable and neutral.
Start Up Consultants Know the Scene
Perhaps it's best to seek out start up consulting in the early stages of your business idea. Since these consultants are attuned to the market, opportunities for funding, how to get a mentor or find business partners and employees, how to create and stick to a business plan, and much more. If you already have an idea, they will walk you through the steps of vetting your idea. A consultant can stick with you and help you over the initial hurdles of starting a business until you feel confident in the trajectory of your start up.
If your idea holds potential but needs a little more thought, a start up consultant from companies like MU-OP LLC can help you pivot the idea into a working business plan.
Start Up Networking Can Work, With Reservations
You might find great people to talk about your idea with at start up networking events. These entrepreneurs are going through a lot of the same things as you. You can discuss your business idea here, but with some caveats. First of all, this is a place to go with an idea that you feel fairly confident about, and that you have thought through with a counselor or on your own. Networking events are a great place to find investors, partners, or employees, and they can be helpful for refining your idea. But if you haven't researched your market and the feasibility of your start up, you might lose the opportunity to connect with someone important.