Is Your Idea Any Good? And Does That Even Matter?
Updated: May 1, 2018
As product developers, we’re always listening to pitches for ideas and new products. In an ideal world, we’d be able to take on every client that comes to us. But unfortunately, not all ideas are created equally. So, we’ve taken care to develop strategies to weed out the good ones and pass on the bad ones. Which helps us ensure that we’re only taking on projects that we are passionate about and can see the need for.
But it’s crucial to remember that even a bad idea can be successful if it is executed well. The idea is only a tiny piece of the puzzle that is your start-up. It is the first layer of concrete, but you still need bricks, windows and a bunch of other materials to build a house.
So, You’ve Got An Idea for A New Product, Huh?
When it comes to your idea, we’re never going to turn around and say ‘no’ straight away. Every idea needs its due diligence, so we’ll always undertake some level of market research on the idea. It’s critical. In the past, we’ve turned around and realised that ideas we thought were pretty terrible, are actually directly solving problems we identify in our research in an industry.
Often the concept doesn’t fit into an existing market too. The client could have identified a gap in the market or created a whole new concept which would require the creation of a whole new market. In that instance, we’ll conduct a competitive landscape analysis to get as deep an understanding as we can of how the new market would function and its potential size.
So, we’ve learnt to pass our judgements about an idea after we’ve taken the steps to find out exactly what’s going on in the market. Of course, we love it when our clients have taken the time to do their own research too. Coming into a consultation prepared with your own research is a surefire way to win our attention.
In saying that, be prepared for questions you aren’t prepared for. We consider ourselves forward thinkers, and so we like to be thinking a few steps ahead even while your pitching your idea. Consider it like safety testing for a car. We’ll take your idea, pick at it, prod at it and run it into walls to test how solid the concept is. Don’t take it personally at all, we do it with ourselves too. It simply helps us to get a deeper understanding of how well thought out the concept is and how it would fare when proposed to other parties, such as investors.
Keep in mind that we’re here to work with you and build on your ideas. We don’t gain anything from shutting you down. In fact, if you go down, we go down with you. So, we want to help you strengthen, test and brainstorm your ideas.
Pitch the Story, Not the Product
And if you’re wondering how to best present your idea, we always recommend tying it into a story. Tell us how you came to develop your idea and what provoked it. The best ideas solve problems that are commonly faced. Most of the time the story revolves around a problem that the client has faced personally.We love that. Putting yourself into the shoes of the user is the most powerful way to invent an innovative solution.
Bonus points too if you can come from a position of experience within an industry. We often find that the most successful products come from clients that have a deep and thorough understanding of the industry in which they’ve been operating. They’ve personally faced common problems themselves and applied their knowledge and experience to come up with a concept that effectively solves the problem. They’ve then come to us when they want to share their solution with the rest of the market and monetise it.
If We Say No
If we do come to the conclusion that we need to turn down a client’s idea, it’s generally because we feel our team wouldn’t be able to eagerly and passionately work on it for the duration of the project. We do our best work on projects that we care about and it’s not fair on you or us if we don’t complete a project to the best of our abilities.Never feel discouraged by a failed idea. People fail all the time. But the critical thinking skills that underpin innovation are the backbone of our society. They are what keeps us moving forward and developing. In other words, they are what keeps us human.And hey, at least you didn’t pitch a gravity machine made out of bicycle parts that can attract objects from a distance. Oh yeah, that happened.
You, The Client
Now let’s talk about you, the client. You may have the impression that it’s all about the idea, but we don’t limit ourselves to that. Who you are is important too, because we need to know who we’ll be working with and know that our progress is not going to be inhibited by a client that we don’t work well with. Consider it like a game of poker, you’re playing cards, but you’ve got to read the man too.The biggest characteristic we look for is an open mind. Too often, clients fall so in love with their idea that they refuse to explore the options to build upon it or change it in any way. That’s a massive inhibitor to our process. We love clients that come to us with an open mind; who understand that the product needs to be tailored to fit the user’s needs and desires and adapt to changes in the market.
But Does the Idea Even Need to Be Good?
When it’s all said and done, it’s not the idea that matters. It’s the execution of the idea. We’ve seen absolutely brilliant ideas completely tank and we’ve seen shocking ideas achieve great levels of success.Take the trusty pool noodle for example. In essence, it’s a foam pole with a hole through the middle for air; not exactly a revolutionary idea, right? Yet the product has managed to be so wildly successful that it has become a staple, if not a necessary, for backyard pools all over Australia.
The moral of the story is that you need the idea to start the journey. But what matters is your own dedication and passion to see the project through and give it the effort it deserves.
If you’ve got that fire burning within you to kick start your innovation journey, we’re ready to work with you.
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