Tag Archives: ideas

Idea Validation & Risk Avoidance

Episode 324 | Idea Validation & Risk Avoidance
Date: 2017-01-24
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
Startups for the Rest of UsYou’re never going to be 100% sure (that your product will be a success).
Are you solving a problem that people actually have? If you already have people that prepaid you are probably past this point.
Who are you solving the problem for and who is paying for it? These are often two different people (e.g. a business owner pays for it but the marketing guy uses it)
Are they willing to pay for it?
Who is searching for the answer to this problem? How are they searching?
How hard is it for (a customer) to get value from your product?
What roadblocks are there before (someone can use your product)? How do they get data into it (from their existing systems)?
Your launch day should be your biggest revenue day of your first six to twelve months.
It is easier to enter a market and find a position than it is to enter a whole new market.
Try to find ways to disprove your idea.
It is easy to make assumptions and not realize that.

The Business Idea Bonanza with Dan Norris

TMBA367: The Business Idea Bonanza with Dan Norris
Date: 2016-12-15
Link: Tropical MBA
Tropical MBAService businesses are the easiest to launch and to start getting customer feedback.
Every business owner is on Facebook and they see ads for their competitors due to retargeting.
People are going to start hiring videographers to follow them around to do a weekly video.
You can go into BuzzSumo and find out what the most popular blog posts are on sites.
So many books are written by ghostwriters.
With a podcast you miss out on a massive amount of online traction that you get with written content.
You don’t want to create a dedicated lead magnet for every post. You only want to do it for posts that are going to get good traction.
Just because you know (it) is a great opportunity does not mean you have the time or resources to implement the strategy.
Right now there is more money than there are businesses.
Anything that externally validates what you are doing is a good thing.
People don’t naturally have the amount of empathy to know what it is like to be you.

You Can Start a Business This Weekend, Here Are Some Ideas

TMBA362: You Can Start a Business This Weekend, Here Are Some Ideas
Date: 2016-11-10
Link: Tropical MBA
Tropical MBAThe good thing about productized services is that you can start them fast with little to no capital.
It is just about a real, tangible business.
The first step in creating something meaningful is just doing something.
People have trouble clarifying what an app should do and how it should look because they are not technical.
People who have visually-focused products are using Instagram in a big way.
There is a way to make shoppable Instagram feeds now.
There is a lot of ways you can make difficult transitions easy for people.

9 Ways to Introduce New Ideas into Your Business

Episode 312 | 9 Ways to Introduce New Ideas into Your Business
Date: 2016-11-01
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
Startups for the Rest of UsWhen focusing on getting the next person to use your product you need to figure out if you are talking to the right people or if you need to build another feature that they need.
It is hard to sit down and read for a couple of hours every day.
Books will broaden your understanding of a specific topic.
Books contain dated information. For more recent turn to podcasts.
Just in time learning.
With podcasts you can really niche down.
Mentoring helps you think through problems you wouldn’t have thought through before.
Do self-study and blog about the experience.

Developing an idea for a business

Often wanna-be entrepreneurs place too much emphasis on the idea and not enough on the hard work that follows. However the idea is not to be discounted. It is the zygote that grows into your business.
I specifically used the word “developing” in the title of this post rather than “finding”, “thinking of”, or “creating”. Rarely does inspiration for a business arrive with a flash of lightning. Rather you notice something and think that you can fix it or do better. You further refine and develop that idea as you think about the market and marketing, about creating and accounting, and about failure and success.
Often an idea is pivoted on many times before an entrepreneur deems it ready to start a business. It continues to evolve based on the obstacles presented up to, and after, getting their product or service in front of customers.
Before looking for business ideas it is important to remember that a great business is one that provides a solution to a problem.
Here are a few places to search for inspiration:

Your place of work

Every single company has inefficiencies
Every. Single. Company. Has. Inefficiencies.
Every problem is an opportunity so when you or a co-worker complain about a process that is broken what you really have is something that needs a solution. You can be the one to provide that solution.
Paper forms are a classic place where there is an inefficiency that either need not exist or can be lessened through technology. Pretty much any tool of bureaucracy (including more modern ones such as email and CRM systems) is as much of a problem as it is a solution. Fertile ground for a dedicated individual or group of individuals to disrupt.
Every problem is an opportunityThere are many advantages to creating solutions for problems in your workplace with the two main ones being your industry expertise (often referred to as your unfair advantage) and the fact that businesses are willing to pay for solutions (whereas consumers are often not). Even seemingly small things such as industry-specific Excel templates or Powerpoint consulting can yield big bucks.

Other industries

Many times, particularly when it comes to technology, advances in other industries will eventually reach yours. Examples that come to mind are CRM systems for contractors and ordering from restaurants on the web or phone apps.
Ask your friends about new things that happening in their industries and see if you have ideas about how to apply it to yours.

Other countries

Due to technology, language, and culture many businesses start in one country and take time to cross borders. After eBay started up entrepreneurs around the world created auction sites for their own country and in their own language. eBay ended up competing with or buying many of them but some are still around today. A more recent example is local car-sharing companies starting up in cities around the world before Uber entered them.
This phenomenon isn’t restricted to technology. There is a Japanese-style cat cafe coming to a city near you.

Your hobbies

Passion is the most important trait for an entrepreneur.
This method of finding business ideas is better than any other for one reason. If you do something as a hobby the chances are that you are passionate about it and passion is the most important trait for an entrepreneur.
The catch to monetizing a hobby is finding a way to present it as a solution that somebody would pay for. It is much easier said than done as many craft-lovers have found out. (Luckily sites like Etsy have made it easier for people to find buyers for their goods.) The challenges of turning a hobby into a business have soured many would-be entrepreneurs on both their business and their hobby.
If you go this routes then taking baby steps while you still work full-time is often a prudent approach.

The news

Keeping abreast of macro changes to industries and the economy can yield a wealth of business ideas. When something fundamental changes it opens up opportunities that didn’t previously exist. You’re reading this on the biggest fundamental change of our lifetimes: the Internet.
Legislation can create opportunities as new laws, or the repeal of old laws, open or level markets. Subprime loans created many opportunities to make a lot of money in the run up to the housing crisis and the fallout opened up other opportunities.
Keep an objective and open mind when you read a news article and ask yourself these two questions:

  • What are ways that somebody can make money off of this?
  • Is this something I would want to spend the next ten years of my life doing?

Your idea is not unique

You are not the first person to have you idea. No matter what somebody else, somewhere, has had the same idea. Maybe the acted on it and maybe they didn’t. If you think your idea is truly unique then that is a cause for concern because if nobody else has done it then maybe there is no market for it.
Part of developing your idea is creating a business plan (even a basic one) which forces you to think objectively about the prospects and challenges for your business. You’re going to be way too optimistic the first time around so have somebody you respect read it and let them poke holes in it. The process will hurt but not as much as failing farther down the line when a lot more is at stake.
Eventually you will have developed your business idea enough that you cannot do anything else but move forward. Starting a business is both very exciting and very scary. Remember that you cannot fail unless you quit trying.

How to Identify New Product Ideas

Episode 264 | How to Identify New Product Ideas
Date: 2015-11-24
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
Startups for the Rest of UsDon’t prematurely invalidate ideas. By doing that you are not only crossing that idea off the list but every potential variation of that idea of the list.
Start by considering specific market verticals or people to server.
Put your ideas in a notebook and save them.
If you have a lot of ideas it doesn’t necessarily mean that any of them are good.
Things that require virality–if you’re going to bootstrap it you’re looking at a longshot.
Competing against free can be somewhat difficult.
You need to ask people upfront, “what are the deal breakers?”
Validation is hard and it is not an exact science.
You don’t want your optimism to overpower warning signs.
It is a balancing act.
Like anything else it is a learned skill.

13 Signs You Should Kill an Idea You’re Validating

Episode 262 | 13 Signs You Should Kill an Idea You’re Validating
Date: 2015-11-10
LInk: Startups for the Rest of Us
Startups for the Rest of UsCelebrating your goals adds longevity to what you are doing.
Validation is not something you should just do once at the very early stages of building a product.
The more you talk to people the easier it gets later on.
99 times out of 100 you will not get the value proposition right the first time. It is just too ambiguous until you have talked with dozens of prospective customers.
It is really hard to develop a two-sided market as a bootstrapper.
If you can’t get somebody to pay you up front then you really have a problem.

How To Create Successful Business Ideas (And Automate Them)

FA153 – How To Create Successful Business Ideas (And Automate Them)
Date: 2013-06-27
Link: The Foolish Adventure
There is a lot of value in income diversification.
Have the right people help you.
Find other people that have the same goals.
Take inventory of what you’re good at and what you’re not good at.
Have a repeatable marketing process.
Your first business idea doesn’t have to be your best business idea.
Do something that is going to make you money.

An Emphasis on Excellence

Title: An Emphasis on Excellence
Date: 2014-04-23
Speaker: Morris Chang (TSMC)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Lean and think. Both are important.99% of Taiwan companies operate on 1% gross margin.
To be a world-class company you need to have R&D. You need to have marketing.
Learn and think. Both are important.
If you just learn and don’t think you quickly become lost.
If you just think and don’t learn you quickly run out of material to think.
The next big thing is probably “the Internet of things” and wearables.
A CEO’s main job is to bring the outside to the inside. The outside is the customers, shareholders, society and the world. Maximize the inside performance to cope with the outside.