Is My Business Idea Good Enough?



idea

So you have a startup idea that you’re very excited about. You believe it’s going to be the next big thing. You passionately share it with few friends asking for their opinions. And you spend your lunch hour daydreaming about TechCrunch’s post on launch day, and on acquisition day.

Then comes this little voice saying that the idea may be silly. May be someone else is already working on it, and may be you’ll end up making a fool of yourself,  leaving a secure job with a monthly paycheck to chase a phantom of your own imagination.

How do you know that your idea is good enough before you add it to your "may be someday" list, or leave your job and spend several months in the corner of your bedroom learning Rails and coding it?

The answer is:

You don’t! And no one else does.

Stay with me.

Few months ago, I wrote a post about how I launched a profitable product in 3 hours. The part that I left out was that I had that idea for more than a year before deciding to finally sit down and do it.

Was it a good idea? In retrospect, yes! But no one could have told me so. I had to do it to find out.

Since launching Keynotopia, I received several emails from people telling me that they had that same idea before, and they wished they’d acted on it. I definitely feel for them, since I’ve had hundreds of ideas in the past that I didn’t act on.  What made all the difference this time around is that I actually did it.

So what you do when you have a startup idea?

Shut up and get to work! Do your research, brainstorm solutions, sketch alternatives, prototype it, and test it. Find the minimum feature set you can launch with to solve the problem, and find a way to deliver it the fastest way possible. If you find a trick or hack that makes an existing tool deliver that solution, go ahead and share it. The idea for Keynotopia started with a single blog post on how I used Keynote to prototype iPad apps, and 37 user interface components.

I had a notebook full of sketches and ideas on creating the best prototyping tool ever. It would have taken months to create the initial version of that tool. It took a weekend to create the first version of Keynotopia.

By minimizing the time between an idea and a prototype, and by testing your prototypes cheaply and iterating quickly, you are taking the shortcut from the land of subjective imagination to objective reality. From something you’re fantasizing about to something that people use.

startup idea1

As exciting as the idea is, chances are it’s going to evolve and morph after you launch it. Few ideas survive contact with customers, but the good news is: having customers is better than having ideas. They will tell you what they want and what they like, and they will help you create the best product for them. Then, and only then, your idea evolves into a real product.

If it’s a bad idea, you’ll know early enough and save yourself time and money. You can then return to your daily job regretting nothing, and waiting for the next idea to hit you. Or may be you’ll get some insights from talking (and listening) to customers that help you spin off few good ideas.

On the other hand, if it’s a good idea, you’ll move forward with confidence. But until you move on from that idea stage, you’re living in our own little world.

No one can tell you if your startup idea is good or not, so stop asking and start doing.

Onward 😉

Related Posts:

How to prototype an iPhone app in 13 minutes



I highly recommend Keynotopia for designing interface mockups for web and mobile apps

Keynotopia is a user interface design toolkit that enables you to use Apple Keynote or Microsoft PowerPoint to prototype, test and demo your application ideas quickly and cheaply, without doing any design work or writing a single line of code.

It includes thousands of wireframe and high fidelity vector user interface components and royalty free icons for mobile, web and desktop apps, all designed from scratch in Keynote and PowerPoint, and can be edited and customized without needing any design tools.

Keynotopia is used by 40,000 entrepreneurs, designers, and developers in more than 80 countries.

7 Comments

  1. Excellent article, Amir.

    Reply
  2. Totally agree – “Shut up and get to work!” should be a mantra for all entrepreneurs.

    Reply
  3. It’s so easy to sit around and worry. Waiting, and playing around with the “idea” to see if it’s right. Just do it, ship, shut and get to work, it’s the same awesome mantra.

    Reply
  4. excellent post amir!

    Reply
  5. Amir, I love the post. Coincidentally, I just wrote about something just like this yesterday; would you mind if I used your infographic image? I would of course give you a shout-out and attribution.

    Reply
    • Sure, Henry. Feel free to use with attribution.

      Reply
  6. The most successful start-ups start with a market (search Ebay or Amazon or the magazine stands to identify a market)
    Then Identify a common problem
    Source a solution
    test the solution on a small scale
    modify based on feedback then roll out

    Reply

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