Coming up with an idea for your next product or business is easy.
Coming up with a great idea, on the other hand, is much harder
While I don’t think there is a ‘framework’ or a very reliable way of coming up with and validating ideas, I’ve used the following filters or questions to come up with my best ideas.
1) Does the idea excite you?
Is it something you are really interested in? Pursuing something just because it can make money is OK, but you will have better chances at making it happen if you actually believe in the idea or it interests you somehow.
You’ll need a reason to wake up in the morning other than making money. Personally, I like to work on things that interest me because that helps me stay motivated and interested in the project.
Whenever I tried to work on something I didn’t believe in, my motivation didn’t last and I eventually gave up.
2) Does your idea or solution solve an existing problem faster, better, or cheaper than the ‘competition’?
People pay for things that solve their problems, entertain them, make them more money, or simply make their lives easier or better.
Make sure your idea does one of these things.
3) Do you have any existing resources or skills to make your idea happen?
I want to start a rocket launch company, but I neither have the skills nor the funding to make it happen — so it’s a bad idea, for now. Focus on ideas that you can execute with your current resources.
I fell into the trap of wanting to work on things I couldn’t do with the resources I had. Of course, you could always raise money and hire people with skills you don’t have, but when you are trying to get started, you should try to build things with your current resources and skills.
Embrace the constrains because that will make it easier for you to find an idea and actually get started.
4) Will people pay for it?
There is a lot of good ideas that won’t make money. If you are building a business, make sure that there is a market for it. In some cases, you can create a new market but that’s really hard to do.
A lot of people do the opposite. They come up with an idea, raise a lot of money, hire a team, build a product, launch it, grow it, then try to monetize it.
While this may work in some cases, it’s much better to validate if people will pay for your product as soon as possible.
Charge from day one!
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