There are many million and billion dollar companies for a startup to model itself against, but there’s no one true formula for success.Still, the majority of buzz-worthy businesses have conducted these tried and true practices along the way. Eying the competition It may not sound as exciting as a weekend-long hackathon or a giving a flashy presentation to a bunch of investors, but the reality is that most startups live and die based on early research.

Instead, it waited, watched, and eventually released gadgets that capitalized on the deficiencies of products already out there. Finding and defining customers Markey says startup founders also conduct research by hitting the bricks and talking to would-be customers about their ideas.

“A smart entrepreneur needs to figure out where their sweet spot in the marketplace is,” she says.

2014, Nest Labs wants to turn your home into a smart device.

The home automation system includes Internet-connected smoke detectors and thermostats, which have screens and chic, round designs — a huge design boost for devices that haven't really changed in recent decades.

That makes it sound like now is the perfect time to bring your million dollar idea to market — but how is that even done?

First off, begin by casting aside any fears that you can’t make a dent in the tech universe with little computer prowess.

And there’s always competition to scout; few successful startups create an entirely new product or service.

Apple — the ultimate garage-to-giant success story — didn’t invent the personal computer, digital music player, smartphone, or tablet computer.

“Who is that customer that’s going to use the product, pay the money, and maybe be the repeat user?