I’ve been explaining this analogy to a few people lately and I wanted to describe it in more detail here. Having an idea is great, but I’m seeing that a lot of people are taking a wrong path when choosing an idea to work on.
If you ask me, I think any idea is great with a few exceptions. The reason why most startups fail is mainly because of funding. If you had enough money, you can make any idea into successful business. And I strongly believe in this.
A few of my readers have contacted me with their ideas and I do thank all of them. But I’m seeing a trend. Most people focus on ideas that are doomed to failure. The reason I say this is because most pick ideas that are big and very hard to execute. While, yes, they can be successful businesses, they should not be started with low budget.
And what’s troubling is that many are in a position to create a successful startup even with low budget. Why I say this is because many have domain knowledge and I’m not talking about domain names, but industry specific in-depth knowledge. And that’s something that’s tangible and is a great foundation for a startup.
The beauty about domaining is that we have all kinds of professionals who are becoming domainers. And the way I see it, most that are domainers are also thinking about a startup, which is great.
So How Do You Choose an Idea that has a greater chance at success?
The answer is simple. The idea that you come up with has to be related to your industry. Something you know is missing. If you’ve been working in your industry for number of years, I am sure that you’ve come across to many holes that are just screaming for a startup.
This is what’s going to differentiate you from many others. You have a specific knowledge that very few people know about. This should be your bread and butter. Don’t focus on creating the next youtube.
Here is a quick idea checklist and guide to picking an idea:
- Must be related to your industry.
- Must be unique with no or low competition.
- Must be easy to create/implement. Don’t choose the idea that will take years in development. Best ideas are those that are real simple/easy to create/implement. Example: creating the next photoshop is not easy, but creating an image resizing application is much easier.
- Buy-ins – This is a very important point. Can you easily have buy-ins from people in your industry that know the shortage of that specific product/service. Can you get them to commit to buying/using the product even before it’s built? This is what makes it a great idea.
- Is it something that they’re already paying for? Many companies pay for a service or product but only use say 5% of the features. What if you could create a similar product/service with only those 5% that’s needed? Now you have a paying customer before even the product is built.
- How much Power do you have? Many people are in a job position to make big decisions and they take it for granted. You may have good salary, but are you making millions? Most likely not. Many people are in a position to make purchasing decisions and they have no idea how lucky they are.
- Network – industry specific connections also are important.
- Can it be done on a low budget? If it’s some kind of software/website, it should be fine. But if you need a factory to create the product, that won’t work.
I am hoping that this list will guide you through choosing your idea. I know many people have spent a lot of time/money already on their existing idea. But it’s never too late to put it on hold and work on something that has a greater chance at success. You can always go back to your idea that you’re most passionate about when you’ve already done at least one successful startup and now have your own funds.
Do not underestimate your knowledge. You have spent years in your industry learning ins/outs of it and that’s more valuable than any business plan.
By the way, I am always open to partnerships. If you think you have that great idea, feel free to email me.