Before we begin there are two things you should know.
The 1st is that the vast majority of ideas aren’t all that wonderful.
The 2nd is that no one actually knows what a good idea is.
There’s a logic to deciding if something is a bad idea, but the only real method to find a good one is to simply decide it is and then fight as hard as you can to avoid becoming a liar.
For any given idea, there are some areas to consider:
- Luck -
If you're building a services company and you have grit, knowledge, some spare time, and the will to succeed - you got this. If you're building something else, something that involves convincing people of your idea and goals - a little luck can go a long way.
Are you feeling lucky?
We're hope you said yes because we all need a little delusion and blind optimism in our lives.
There’s not much more that can be said about this.
- Uniqueness -
Here's a quick concept - blue oceans vs red oceans.
A red ocean is filled with competitors, the water turns red from battle. Thinking of starting a brewery or a coffee shop - you'll be competing on price, or culture, or something else that seems very much out of your control. A blue ocean is wide open, your idea is unique and the skies are clear. The only real way to discover if your idea is unique, is research. Have you committed hours and hours of your time trying to prove your idea is common? Have you taken on the role of your harshest critic? Many people believe their ideas are amazing without any real proof.
If you can prove your market is open, your product is new, or you believe you can do it better – then by all means continue.
- Technology -
You've had a grand idea - a time traveling car.
Do you know how it works and can you build it?
I met with a large group of entrepreneurs once - maybe 100 or so. We all sat around and shared our ideas and our goals. By the end it was clear there were 97 people with software ideas and 3 developers to build them. Knowing how to build something can more important than the idea. Ideas come to those who understand.
It’s very easy to imagine your idea scaling and benefiting millions. It’s very different to work and mold an idea each day as you experience all the pain and difficulty that come with being the first to do something.
- Knowledge -
Do you have specific knowledge in your area? If you decide you will build some kind of new electrical part but you aren't an electrician or an engineer - will it be up to code or maybe it will kill someone? These are extremes but the most interesting things come from people who have learned a skill or a trade for years or even decades. They understand the goal, they see the issues, and they find the solutions.
- Sales -
It doesn’t seem like anyone really knows what makes a person Sign-Up for a new service. If people were logical, it seems like they would try out anything new that might benefit them. They’d explore for a reasonably amount of time and then decide. Maybe they'd even communicate with the company to share their thoughts.
If there was an app to make a person do what they say - it'd make the first trillionaire.
People don't do, unless they feel that they have to. Very few people make decisions that stem from logic.
Do you have a plan for selling your product? Is your plan more involved than your own thoughts. Again, it’s very easy to convince yourself that your own ideas are good when they aren’t.
Have you spoken with everyone? Yes, we mean everyone. You should talk with those you plan to sell to – you can’t just imagine.
Are you going to be your own sales person or do you know a person who will manage sales?
Someone who enjoys sales AND who’s good at it – is paramount. Sales people aren't really human. Can you take rejection 200 times a day for a couple that say yes? Don't pretend to be this fierce warrior type unless you are - there's no shame in playing your strengths.
People are different – embrace this.
- Money -
As much as tech sites want to plow our faces in venture funding news, everyone and their mother is not getting millions to build a time machine.
Based on your previous answers, hopefully you have begun to see and plan for how much effort your venture will take. If you are planning a
services company, walk down your street tomorrow and offer the service. If people say they want it - do the service and make money. While many
seem to believe that they should start a company to be their own boss, or to build what’s good for society, or to do what they enjoy – these are all fairy tales. The point of a company can be whatever you want, but it has to make money.
Do you have a plan to make money from day one? Do you have a plan to make more money than you are spending?
- Time -
Every plan you have will likely take much longer than you think – ten-fold or more?
Do you have a full-time job, a family, a need to get 8 hours of sleep? Deciding early on to build something in your spare time is fine, but it needs to be planned for. Having a plan that is accurate will be immensely powerful when it comes time to doubt your own ideas. If you have a plan - you can stick to it. If you don't, you'll be left battling the emotional ups and downs that inevitably come with starting a new venture.
- Naming -
Some think a name doesn’t matter while others believe it to be the most important. Here's a quick list.
· Easily spelled
· Easily pronounced
· Can be spoken and understood in a loud room.
· Is reasonably short.
· Easily remembered.
· Has a domain that's available - come on - aim for a .com.
· Means something somewhat relevant to your company or is completely random.
As much as we’d all like there to be infinite time in our lives, we can’t learn everything and work on each project until it’s perfect. We have to prioritize and decide on the best path that we will take. Making the decision to move forward with a venture is one of the greatest endeavors a person can take, but in a world of so visions, it’s important to view each idea with honesty and open eyes.
- Best of luck.
Written by Tom from nextcept
Nextcept.com offers a true venture network for all ventures. We're building to help the early stage founder and interested developer alike. Find motivated people through a series of random and personal questions. With more and more jobs available, it's important that people enjoy who they work with.