Are you building the next best thing?

Everyone believes that their own ideas are golden eggs, but only the market will determine if that's true.

Let me start off by saying that I am not a lawyer or consultant in this area. I’m a person who successfully did the following through research, mentorship, speaking to lawyers/consultants, and watching a sh*t load of Shark Tank🦈

I advise doing the same.

As a Software Engineer, I can’t tell you how many people have approached me asking if I’d build their app idea that was going to take off and make us millionaires! What I didn’t tell them was that I heard their same idea by 5 other people prior to them contacting me. Does that mean they shouldn’t pursue building it? Of course not. Look at how many successful companies exist that are selling the same products or services.

There were also people who had more unique business ideas. However, even though something sounds cool, it doesn’t mean it’s necessary or that it will perform well in the market.

Regardless if they were thinking that they could get investor interest with this idea, or successfully bootstrap it from the ground up, there were steps they should have taken before trying to spend time, energy, and money on bringing it to life.

After saying ‘Sorry, but no’, I gave them this feedback:

Does your idea already exist?

If you’re going to provide a service or sell a product, it most likely already exists. That’s totally okay. The question is, what makes yours different? Maybe your differentiator is your competitive pricing, or your turn around, or your impeccable customer service. Whatever it is, it needs to be valuable enough to turn consumers in your direction too. How do you do this?

Look at your competition 👀 🔍 📝

What are they doing well? What could they be doing better? What aren’t they doing at all? Figure out their pain points simply by doing research. Read their reviews on different platforms, look at their ratings, check what their customers are saying. Take all of that research and find ways that you can fit in as a competitor.

Validate ✅

You’ve figured out their pain points, you’ve read their customer complaints. Is that enough to make you a competitor? Well, you can ask. Put out surveys, ask questions in forums and social media. Ask the existing users or customer base which additions or improvements to the existing product would make their lives way more convenient. Figure out if the problem you want to solve is something people really want, and/or need.

Your work doesn’t stop there. Who’s to say that your differentiator isn’t something that your existing competition can’t just easily implement? Again, this is something for you to really think about and figure out.

Once you have confirmation that this is something worth building- build the MVP. I always recommend starting off by doing things for as financially cheap as your product can handle, but not so cheap that it risks the quality. Remember that you’re building MVP, not the finished product. Get your user/customer base flowing, see how it performs, get your user/customer feedback, and build upon that.

Have a new idea to bring to the market? 🧐

Are you sure that it doesn’t exist? How extensive was your research? Have you looked at existing patents and trademarks? Be sure.

What problem is it solving? FYI: The problem that you’re solving doesn’t need to be something huge and revolutionary. It could be something small, yet so inconvenient that it needs a solution.

Now, going back to our last section on validation. Is this something that people want or need? I said, people, not you. We all think that our own ideas are worth spending money on, but does your target market feel the same way? Ask them. Put out surveys and polls, host focus groups, engage with them and pick their brains. Find out if your idea is a pain point they’d be willing to spend money on.

*Side note: Be sure to research if you’d need a patent if this is something that doesn’t yet exist.

Once your validation process is complete, do as what was already stated above:

Once you have confirmation that this is something worth building- build the MVP. I always recommend starting off by doing things for as financially cheap as your product can handle, but not so cheap that it risks the quality. Remember that you’re building MVP, not the finished product. Get your user/customer base flowing, see how it performs, get your user/customer feedback, and build upon that.

This topic is more than what was stated in this newsletter. Committing to bringing an idea to life takes thorough research, and getting advice and feedback from different people. You got the high level tips, now do the low level work💪🏿