Hi All, I usually come up with (commercial) ideas when I think why don't we do it this way instead of the other way. Or usually I club/fuse traditional businesses with modern tech and think if it can be this way it would be easier. I, at times come up with ideas that are unique and also I find similar options already developed as well. Kindly help me out in understanding, if I am coming up with an executable idea how (or) where to check if my startup plan is actually feasible and it has legs. I usually move around with a close group of friends but when I present these ideas to them some say that it is wonderful and some of them say it might cost you much so better don't do it and it will not survive. I want some professional advice/guidance. Is there anyone who listens to all this and authentically gives out suggestion with supporting docs/research or do I have to stick on to my friends & family?
Prabhunath, you just reminded me of this article - check it out:
Unless your family or friends are in the market you want to sell to, then you are not getting useful feedback. http://tryhypothesis.com might be able to help you validate your idea(s).
The problem with friends/family is, as genuine as they may try to be, they'll inevitably be over enthusiastic or over cautious, to protect you.
What I did was create a Facebook fan page for my app and then place cheap Facebook ads. The kind of ads that I would likely place as if my idea was already live, without giving away too much secret sauce.
The beauty of this is not only do you get real world, unbiased feedback for very little out of pocket (<$25), you also learn exactly who your target market is quickly, using Facebook's analytics. And as a bonus, you've collected likes of early adopters on your fan page to use as beta testers once you have something for them to test.
You can do the same thing linking them to a landing page and collecting emails, as well.
Basic rule of thumb is usually take the anticipated revenue and cut it in half. Double your estimated costs and ask, "do you still have a good business?" If yes, then you are likely to proceed.
Nothing better than building a straw-man (even in Power Point) and going out to talk with prospective customers. As the Japanese taught me years ago, "go and see" and "as 'why' five-times!"
That's how entrepreneurs function. We come up with ideas all the time and that's a good thing because that's how you build a successful product. You come up with ideas and you test them, as many as you can, as fast as you can, until you find one that sticks.
The hard part is finding which idea is the solution to a painful problem, a solution that people would happily pay you to solve.
So the way to find the one idea that people would pay you for is to try all of them, either by talking to your customers or building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that you can show (and get payed for).
If you're interested in learning more about MVPs, I've got a free 7 day course and an article on the subject. Check them out.
The only good way to test (aka validate) an idea for a product/service is to get someone to pay for this product/service (not necessarily with money - users can "pay" with their time, attention, engagement, personal information, etc.)
Don't ask your friends whether it's a good idea or not - they can't possibly know that in advance, nobody can, no expert in the world will be more reliable than a coin toss on this matter. Besides, the execution of an idea matters MUCH more than the idea itself.
Instead of asking, just make a simplest possible prototype, or even a mockup or a presentation that visualizes the end product, and ask your friends to use it or to help you find someone who will.
There's really no substitute for this.
Dont put too much faith on your friends.
These are the questions that you should ask when you conduct a market search for your idea:
* What problem or pain does your product or service will solve?
* How big is the market?
* Who will buy or use your product or service? and Why?
* Who is your competitors?
* How much I should charge?
You can use in-person surveys, web or social surveys, focus group, or person-to-person interviews methods to conduct your market research.
See if there is an I-Corps program in your area. This is like a customer discovery bootcamp from NSF and will let you know if you have an idea that will sell. There are usually other resources available through this program as well. Also, see if there is a SBDC in your area. This program is part of SBA and they have consultants who can help you through early stage startups. Check for local entrepreneurial community events at your local co-working spaces, like 1 Million Cups, etc.
Hi Prabhunath. At Loops Consulting we help you to determine what assumptions you have to make in order for your idea to seem profitable. For example, given the costs you are likely to face, how many customers are you going to have to win, charging what price? Simulation models can help you break down these assumptions, and give you a roadmap of milestones that you'll need to achieve in order to be on course to achieving profitability. You can read more at: www.loopsconsulting.com