So, you have an Idea. Great! Over 99% of us have an idea that could change the world. Only 10% of us actually execute upon an Idea that could change the world.
When a mysterious person Satoshi wrote a whitepaper for a cryptocurrency called Bitcoin, it was just an Idea. Many people bought into the idea, and turned it into a product that was still not worth much in its early stages. As the Idea caught on, people started to “buy” the product, and believers started to grow. As the product became more easily accessible, more and more people bought into the “idea” and the product – BTC. Eventually, taking a $0 worth BTC to $63,000 (at the time of this writing).
In my life, so far, I have had hundreds of Ideas that were worth millions, if not billions, of dollars. But I do not have a billion dollars because I DID NOT EXECUTE those Ideas.
Ideas are like seeds. They can be left in the packet waiting for the right day and they’ll rot there. Or they can be sown in the ground, taken care of, fed with the right mix of water, soil and sunlight, protected and groomed – can give you fruits for a lifetime.
How do you take Idea from nothing to something? That is the key in execution!
In this article, I’ll share some lessons of taking a new product idea (technology product) and growing it from nothing to a customer loved product and a vast potential market. If you have not already read our success story with this product, you can read it here.
From Idea to Product
Once you have the Idea, you need to make sure that the idea is worth investing your time and moeny in. Sometimes, you may have an emotional attachment to the Idea and may be biased becuase its your idea – but it may not be worth anything to others. And remember, unless others are willing to pay for the product or services that your idea generates, its not going to be a viable venture. So first step is to do a “market research” for your idea.
Market Research can take various forms and can be simple or elaborate depending on your idea, but the key is to identify if there is a potential customer base (the market) for your Idea who are willing to pay for you to solve a problem that they are facing.
Let me share a quick example to drive this point across. If you were happy with playing music on a CD and carry a CD Player with you everywhere, along with a stack of CDs that carried your music – there was no need for an iPod.
Problem – Carry music and CD Player everywhere;
Solution – 1000 songs in your pocket.
Market – Anyone who wants to have access to their music anywhere.
Now, one thing to note here is that you may have a market that is premium as well as a market that is non-premium….for example, iPod users pay over $100 for an iPod device, while other users may buy a $30 MP3 Player to play the music. Each has a different use case, and both are valid. You need to know what is your customer base and how you can attract and keep them.
Point of caution – The same market existed for both, Apple and Microsoft. But iPod ruled, and Zune got thrashed and trashed. So, the next important step is to ensure your product is top of the class.
After you’ve done your market analysis, it is important to identify the “minimum viable product” – MVP for your idea. (More about that in another post).
To conclude this post, let me quickly walk you through our process to take our product from idea to customer –
Step 1 – Document Idea and all related user stories. What would customers want from this product?
Step 2 – Prioritize product features that are must-have vs nice-to-have. Think about what gives the most value to the customer. Build Your product!
Step 3 – Market your product!
Step 4 – Sales, customer feedback and continuous Improvement of the product. ITERATE!
Step 5 – Support and Enhance
Step 6 – Exist or Expand
To be continued…