Over the past 3-4 years I have spent time thinking, finding problems, and working on solutions. My brain works as an engineer's brain. Most of the time, I did end up my idea while my POC was near existence in terms of technical feasibility. Reason for closures were:
1. Not finding the right partner to take other responsibilities. Reliability is again a key point.
2. Over the time it looked like the solution was good but there was no demand
3. Over expenditure foresee
4. Things were becoming complex as development progressed
In few of these cases, I could see quitting was not bad as there was not a good market for it. But in some other cases, when I did quit on the idea, I saw someone else built a similar concept with some success.
Now I question myself, when should an entrepreneur quit and not pursue further his/her idea?
This is funny, I am in the same situation right now, but I really think you should try at least to create an MVP ( minimum viable product ), landing page for example and see if people are coming on your website.
I'll give you 7 'Idea qualifying questions' to validate your idea and if you can check most of the boxes, please proceed with the execution if not quit and move on, I learnt these qualifying questions from Peter Theil's amazing book, from Zero to One,
1) Is the technology that you are building breakthrough or it's just incremental?
2) Are you getting the timing right to start this business ? in terms of market conditions sometimes even political conditions
3) Five years from starting a business will you have a monopoly share of the niche market
4) Are building this technology / product with a team of 'A' players.
5) Most important than building do you have the right kind of distribution channels in place, what is your Go-to market strategy.
6) Will your idea scale over time, will you hold enough market share 10 years after launch.
7) Most importantly, have you identified a sizeable market / opportunity that others are ignoring.
So just take a step back and use these pre-qualifying questions before executing an idea and I'm pretty sure that you'll save loads of time, energy and money.
I have just been reading & following the guidance of this book. The Startup Owners Manual by Steve Blank & Bob Dorf.
The first tests to validate whether your business is viable are:
I recommend it. It could save you a lot of time / money / heartache.
10 years ago I had a startup, which I hung onto for too long. If I had come across this book years ago, I would have dumped that startup earlier.
Clearly you understand that if there is no addressable market then it's not the right idea.
The right time to quit on an idea is when you no longer have passion for the problem it is intended to solve. If you don't have the desire, it is unlikely you will walk through walls to get to the solution.
It's not simple, but it means you can walk away with no regret. Then if someone else seeks to solve that problem you can cheer them on from the sidelines.
To build a business out of your ideas, and have them sustain you and a team, you must first think of scale, or as you say demand?
My first question is, why did you determine there was no demand? How big was your test pool? Was the challenge marketing or demand.
If the challenge is need and demand, then clearly you have no business. But if the challenge is Marketing, then I would stick with the idea and solve the other problems.
When your passion, purpose and plan no longer align with each other thats when you quit. Some ideas take longer to come to fruition. I have been working with a concept for three years and every time I hit a wall, I back off and take a good look at my purpose and plan and tweak it where its needed. If I can't find an immediate solution, I pause, work on something else and then go back to my original plan when I have the solution. If you are committed to your purpose, you will find a solution and sometimes you end up inventing a solution. ;)
You need to follow right methodology. Follow design thinking, ideo methodology.
Real tech entrepreneur never give up. They try and try. As you mentioned you are an engineer. In your brainstorming for solution on problem use ideo's methodology. Finding a good partner who empower each other is hard. You both need to beleive in same vision, same cause and on the same time you both need to invest your time, money and resources equally. Kind of like finding soulmate.
I hope my note can help you.
You will need to learn some specific skills related to business idea vetting.
1/ sniff testing
This is the capacity to split your ideas into small parts and assess the likeliness of each part to be a contributor to the overall success of your future business without spending time and resources doing standard market research. It can help you identify winners and looser early and help you save precious time and resources.
2/ customer development and market research
This is the capacity to identify the best people to talk to, the best places to find them, the best way to approach them, how to talk to them so that they are not getting bored, what to ask to get a comprehensive and useful insights for your business.
3/ financial modelling for startup
This is the capacity to check whether or not your idea/customer/market align to generate enough value and money to build a sustainable business.
4/ Capacity to generate back-up ideas or sub-ideas. As you move further and deeper in customer development, you will probably notice that the current version of your idea is a b*llsh*t. This can lead to panic if you don't have backups. You can be either disappointed and abandon (smart decision) or stubborn and continue (foolish decision).
5/ Capacity to identify early which part of your business idea is too weak to be pursed
Hope this helps.
Feel free to join me on LinkedIn or send me a private message here if you need further help.
This is an issue facing pretty much every entrepreneu.. was just having this discussion with another buddy hours earlier today on his venture.
Usually they say put a time frame on a new venture and if you don't reach a desired goal by then, quit and move on. However many can call this "You are a quitter"
IMO, it's always a good idea to put an idea to a side when you are feeling exhausted and try something else in meantime. At some point (sooner than later) you will regain momentum and composure if the former idea still made sense.
if not, then you know it's time to move on.
moral of story. There's no time frame on when to quit. Rather just switch up your momentum.
First of All you should have the patience to be an entrepreneur. Idea should be planned. You mentioned that some one take clone the idea and get some success, because you lay a foundation for him and when it was going to be mature, you left it. Someone grab it and named success which should be yours. Overall entrepreneurship is a hard task to be done. My advice to you is to study market and its needs. Wish you best of luck..