Ideas and inventions. Part I – is it viable?

I get many emails from people with ideas that they want help in funding or getting to market. I thought I would do a couple of blogs about what you need to consider, dealing with the more common issues first.

Is the idea or invention viable?

So you have a great idea or invention to launch to the world. You are sure it will actually work and you may even have made a prototype. However useful the idea is, you must check it is viable – this means that:

  1. a significant number of people would pay for it
  2. what they are happy to pay is more than it costs to make and deliver AND
  3. there is also enough money to cover the setup costs

There is some fairly simple maths in steps 1 to 3 which I won’t cover here. The principles of 1 and 2 are more significant than the sums.

What problem are you solving?

To be successful your idea must solve a real problem for your customer. Somehow they manage to go through life without your idea – you need to know how they manage now, and be sure they would consider your idea to be a better alternative. It has to be good enough for them to abandon their current arrangements (however imperfect they are).

It is much harder to sell something that is ‘nice to have’ than a real solution. Write down “the problem I am solving is …..”

What is the solution worth?

The world is full of items that are a little better than the last. Your idea must be so much better that people will part with money for it now. Instead of asking “do you agree my idea is better”, ask “is my idea worth throwing away your old one and buying mine now?”

Summary

So, the first part of assessing ideas is to ask yourself 2 questions and be honest with yourself about the answers:

  1. What significant problem do I solve?
  2. Is my solution so much better that people will pay for it?

All the steps of assessing your business idea are in the online course “Up and Running“. Contact me to be one of the first to use the new course material.