How do I know if my idea is good?
Why culture is important now more than ever
Let’s dive into something that often comes up when someone pitches me their idea—a question that usually arises after spending ten minutes explaining all the technical details but neglecting to mention who the customer is. It’s the moment when they catch their breath, rattle off another feature, and then pop the question we’ve all heard before: “So… do you think it’s a good idea?”
Well, here’s what I believe: if you’re genuinely enthusiastic about solving a problem and making the world a better place, then heck yes, it’s a fantastic idea! However, there’s one thing you should know—I’m probably not your target customer. If I answer “yes,” it won’t tell you whether people will actually buy your solution, if it can scale, or if there’s already a similar product on the market. If I answer “no”… well, let’s just say I’m not likely to answer “no” unless it’s genuinely harmful.
The juggling act of business and life:
6 Steps to Elevating Your Energy:
Who's your customer? If your answer is "everyone," let's take a step back. If you've narrowed it down to gender, age, or basic demographics, that's a good start. But if you can dig even deeper and identify specifics, such as their interests (for example, being socially engaged in board games), hangout spots (like game stores and local meetups), and motivations (like craving a virtual gaming experience similar to in-person play), then congratulations! You're on the right track, so go ahead, pass go, and collect your $200.
What problem are they experiencing? What tasks or responsibilities do they despise? Where are they wasting their precious time? What areas of their lives could use improvement? Understanding their pain points and unmet needs is crucial.
A great tool to help map this out is the Value Proposition Canvas.
How does your solution solve their problem? Remember, simplicity is key here. Instead of overwhelming them with features and bells and whistles, focus on what your solution could look like at its core while still addressing their problem and igniting their excitement.
Get hands on with exploring how you can test your solution without spending heaps of time or resources on the “perfect” finished product or service.
How is it different from what's already on the market? Start with Google and keep digging. Research how people are currently solving this problem. Look beyond exact alternatives and explore workarounds and manual methods. By understanding the existing landscape, you'll be able to identify your unique selling points.
How is your solution better? Now that you have a solid grasp of your customer, their problem, and your solution's approach, it's time to highlight what sets you apart. What makes your solution superior? Find a way to articulate your value proposition concisely and compellingly to potential customers.
One Step At A Time
As you delve into these questions, you’ll start to feel that spark of excitement when you realize you might be onto something special. Remember, there’s an abundance of resources and incredible individuals out there ready to support you on your journey. Look up what innovation programs exist in your area and start attending networking events for entrepreneurs like yourself.
Keep in mind that it’s okay if you decide now isn’t the right time or if you’re uncertain about your idea. The world is brimming with endless wicked problems waiting for creative and passionate people like you to tackle them. So keep those ideas flowing to make an impact and change the world!
Hannah Hartgens currently works as a Program Manager at the Canberra Innovation Network, engaging with companies at various stages across all industries. Her day to day is always changing as she delivers programs, meets entrepreneurs, facilitates workshops and builds connections across the innovation ecosystem.