Innovative ideas may come to you easily. But you don’t know if it’s business worthy? Here’s what it takes for an idea to become a startup!
And so it begins with a common scenario: you’re talking with a friend, or someone who shares your headspace and ambition, and a light bulb goes off. “What if…” The beginning of this question has known so many possible ends.
What if…we create a social networking platform that connects people through images across the world? What if… we provide a car service at the drop of a pin?
What if… we create a machine that sifts out the multitude of seeds from cotton fibers by simply cranking a turn-handle?
What Instagram, Uber and Eli Whitney’s cotton gin have in common is surely this: they are golden ideas. But how did they start from an ambitious idea to a tangible, implemented experience? Now that is a big question, and surely one worth exploring.
To start, one must…
Many a golden idea has been kicked to the curbside due to a failure of implementation. Ask any entrepreneur, and they will likely respond with a knowing expression and remarks sprinkled with sighs boiled down to: Brilliant ideas are abundant. I’ve had them, you’ve had them and we will likely continue to have them throughout life, but…
Okay – then what’s the catch?
Well, putting them into practice is not quick-and-easy like a drive through window at McDonald’s. In fact, transforming your idea into a product or service is extraordinarily difficult. It requires more than an idea, and it starts with a solid plan with clearly defined milestones. This may all sound very obvious, but have you really thought it through?
Like many entrepreneurs before him, Daniel Faloppa, co-founder of Equidam, a Fintech company in The Netherlands, was ready to invest his time, effort and sweat equity into the cultivation of his company. However, in his words, “The reality of the work and investment only became real once I was immersed in it 100%”.
So let’s immerse ourselves, but with a plan in mind involving…
Once you’ve gotten real, and you’re ready to work harder than you can imagine, it’s time to set some measurable goals. One can never be fully prepared for everything the future holds, but when it comes to your startup, you can try to hedge against some of this uncertainty by using a workable frame for implementing your plan:
1) Develop your idea
How can my idea come to fruition? What are the nuts and bolts I need to develop it?
2) Consider demand
Is the demand really there? Whether appealing to the masses or a niche market, will people buy it and use it?
3) Check its feasibility
Now that I’ve considered demand, is it an economically sound choice to develop this product?
4) Forecast its marketability
Now that I know my product development is worth my time, can I market it successfully?
5) Start from the ground up
You’ve done the basic legwork and transformed an idea into a marketable experience in your mind and on paper. Now its time to make it a tangible reality.