“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” -Walt Disney
In our business, we frequently have the opportunity to meet people who have ideas for “the next big thing”. Unfortunately, most don’t make an attempt at moving forward with their ideas. Whether it be fear, procrastination, or some combination of the two, the idea often stops after the initial conversation. Here are three things to consider when working to develop your idea into a viable company or product.
a clear vision
Your co-founders, investors, development team, and other key stakeholders can evaluate your level of commitment by how prepared you are to answer low-level, detailed questions about your product, its initial scope, marketing plan, etc.
Focus on solving a problem
We’ve seen the most success from startups who are either creating something significantly better than the best alternative or something that solves a specific problem for a small group of people. If your idea starts with “it’s going to be Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest/etc. except… “ - it’s probably not a great idea.
Consider starting with a prototype, especially if you are looking to raise seed money. Prospective investors always want something they can “touch”, something that will help them fully understand your idea. If more than a prototype is required to fulfill your initial launch plans, relentlessly focus on creating the MVP – Minimum Viable Product and nothing more (more on this in a future post). This will reduce your upfront financial risk and quickly put your product into the hands of key stakeholders and early adopters. There is no need for all of the bells-and-whistles right out of the gate.