An Idea Is Just That – Not Yet An Innovation

Innovation idea new business

Innovation and new ideas

I am frequently approached by people who want to share a new business idea with me. Some are actually good, others, well, you know. Usually the pitch is accompanied by a good amount of mystery and secrecy: “Andre, I’m telling you this because I trust you, but don’t tell anyone; this could be big”. So let me summarize what I tell friends who approach me like that.

Turning an idea (hopefully) into an innovation

First, don’t worry too much about secrecy. Your new idea is likely not as much of an innovation as you think, it has probably come up before in one way or another. And even if it is (almost) that great, you will only be able to go somewhere by sharing it with other people who can give you useful feedback and leads. The chances of someone stealing your idea are probably slimmer than you turning it into a business without sharing it with others. Competent people are busy and know how time consuming and risky it is to start something new.

Second, ask yourself what YOU would bring to the table. Are you business savvy? Have the relevant technical skills? Money to invest? An amazing network in the industry? Lots of time to spare (on top of at least a bit of one of the former)? If you answered “yes” to one or more of the questions, then great, you should move forward. Try to find the people and resources needed to complement your skill-set and hit the road. But if the answers are straight “no’s”, I need to say you should probably let go and try to think of another idea.

To illustrate this, once a friend came to me with a pretty good idea for a mobile app. However, he didn’t know a thing about starting a company or building an app, didn’t have money to invest, didn’t know anyone in the industry, and was not willing to invest a good chunk of his time on it. Seriously? Don’t expect that someone will start a company with you just because you had a decent idea, especially because the idea will evolve/change as the business matures. You need to bring something concrete to the table. Ideas are just ideas… We all have tons of them.

See also Not All Angel Investors Are From HeavenImage: shutterstock.com

Have you ever had a business idea? What did you make of it? Leave us a comment!

Advertisements

5 comments

  1. The ‘birth’ and subsequent proliferation of the computer/Internet/’social media’ has spawned many business validation/evaluation ‘algorithms’, along with ‘wisdom of the crowds’ types ones as well, that make it virtually unnecessary for any proposed new inventions &/or business ventures(those that don’t require the use of any new &/ or untried/untested technology to make them fully functional)to be accompanied by a working ‘prototype’ &/or business plan.
    .
    .
    In much the same way that the 26 letters of our alphabet are used to form an unlimited number of words and phrases, all ‘new’ ideas(those which don’t require any new &/or untried/untested knowledge/technology to make them fully functional)are only ‘new’ in the sense that the various time tested ‘components’ that make them up–which have been used millions of times in the creation of everything in existence–have never before been put together in exactly the particular way/shape/manner/form that they are now being combined so that they can form this new use/purpose!!
    .
    .
    The basic concept/premise for any ‘new idea’ of the kind alluded to above, can be explained fully enough IN ONE SINGLE PARAGRAPH so that anyone expert in that area(and more times than not, someone of even just average intelligence)will IMMEDIATELY have that EUREKA, AH-HAH MOMENT and fully understand exactly what it is that you have in mind(and possibly even be mad at themselves for not having thought of it long ago). In other words, if you provide the right person with nothing more than this ever so slight description of just the basic concept/premise of whatever it is that you have in mind, they now know EVERYTHING necessary to make it just as SUCCESSFUL as if they knew everything about it as you do.
    .
    .
    When considering the potential merits/value/worth of any NEW INVENTION/BUSINESS VENTURE(that doesn’t require the use of any new technology &/or technology that is ‘untested’ with regard to its use in the ‘venture’ in
    question to make it fully ‘functional’)it isn’t necessary in these early stages of the ‘due diligence’ process to have either a ‘prototype’ &/or business plan. The ONLY TWO THINGS that needs to be found out in the beginning about these kind of ventures-once their ‘premise’ has sparked your interest-are:1)is there a big enough POTENTIAL market out there to make this a worthwhile investment?;2)will the public/end user readily accept the price that they have to be charged in order to cover ALL the costs associated with making it available to them?
    .
    .
    Does it make any logical sense to pass over a potentially good new invention, business venture or solution to a problem SIMPLY BECAUSE THE PERSON WHO CAME UP WITH THEM–for any number of LEGITIMATE reasons(see a list of them on my website)–CAN’T, WON’T, OR IS INCAPABLE OF DOING ANYTHING OF A POSITIVE NATURE WITH THEM, even though there is a very easy/realistic ‘remedy’ for this ‘dilemma?
    .
    .
    IT IS AN ACCEPTED FACT among the various ‘entities’ that invest in new business ventures, that it is
    the ‘implementation’ of an idea, rather than the idea itself, that is the most important thing in it’s potential success. THEREFORE, THE VALUE/WORTH OF AN IDEA ISN’T ENHANCED OR DIMINISHED SIMPLY BECAUSE THE ONE WHO THOUGHT OF IT–for any number of LEGITIMATE REASONS–CAN’T/WON’T OR IS INCAPABLE OF DOING ANYTHING OF A POSITIVE NATURE WITH IT, THEREFORE IT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE TO DISREGARD ONE SIMPLY FOR THIS REASON ALONE.
    .
    .
    In a perfect world those people with ‘ideas’ for something would also have all of the necessary qualities/attributes/expertise to make their ‘ideas’ a success, and conversely, those people with the qualities/attributes/ expertise to make a success out of any kind of an ‘idea’ would also be able to come up with the ‘ideas’ that they need to be able to make a success out of. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and never will be.
    .
    .
    Having said the above, there are literally millions of people out there who have potentially good ‘ideas’ for promising new products/services/businesses in every realm of human endeavor but PERSONALLY lack the qualities/attributes/expertise to make them a success. On the other end of the spectrum, there is vast pool of eager, hungry ‘entrepreneurs’ out there, who, although they might not be able to come up with a good ‘idea’ for anything if their life depended on it, do have, collectively among them, every skill, trait, ability, talent, attribute characteristic or other expertise that it would take to bring to successful fruition any kind of an ‘idea’ that anyone could possibly come up with in any realm of human endeavor whatsoever.
    .
    .
    If the necessary time & effort were taken to somehow get these two diverse groups of people to work together for their common welfare you would then have the basis for the perfect ‘venue’ to provide every funded promising new business venture THE ABSOLUTE BEST CHANCE IN THE WORLD TO HAVE EVERY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL!!!
    .
    .
    This ‘venue’ would now make it possible to make som concessions in the ’unwritten law’ among investors which requires that, in order to get funded, the founders of a proposed new business venture must PERSONALLY have the necessary expertise to make it a success. Now, rather than possibly compromising a funded venture’s chances for success by letting its ‘founders’, SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE ITS ‘FOUNDERS’, be in charge of it (unless, of course, they are fully qualified to do so), you would now be able to do the much more sensible thing of assembling a hand-picked, ‘tailor- made’ management team for that venture from that vast pool of eager, ‘hungry’ entrepreneurs who have all of the EXACT qualifications that you need (and in the exact degree of expertise required) in order to
    give that venture THE ABSOLUTE BEST CHANCE IN THE WORLD TO HAVE EVERY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL!!!
    .
    .
    Another added benefit, which is now denied them, would be available to those who invest in promising new business ventures if they used this ‘venue’, in that a whole new world of investment possibilities would now be open to them by not now having to limit their search for promising new business ventures to only those whose founders must PERSONALLY have the necessary expertise to make them a success!!!

    .

    .

    There are hundreds of millions of people in this world that for any number of LEGITIMATE REASONS–none of which are any fault of their own–keep them from ever even getting the chance to just start to ‘be the best that they can/might be’, much less have the opportunity to bring their various talents/attributes to any kind of successful fruition.
    .
    These LEGITIMATE REASONS run the entire gamut of the ‘human condition’, ranging from physical, mental, psychological &/or psysiological concerns, to a vast array of of possible social, family, religious, educational, racial, governmental &/or environmental beliefs/restrictions/regulations. Other of these people, aside from possibly not having the time, money or education, may lack other skills, abilities, traits, talents, attributes or other characteristics that it would take to be successful in their
    lives. Lastly, some of them may have been born with &/or are being forced to face, encounter, endure or live with any number of other possible negative situations, circumstances or obstacles that may inhibit them in some way or another.
    .
    Due to the negative effects, in their many and varied forms and guises, resulting from any of these various ‘deficiencies’, any of which, either directly or indirectly, depending on how &/or to what degree these people might be affected by them, can DEFINITELY be partially or completely responsible for denying them the success that, without those ‘IMBALANCES’ in their lives, they may well have achieved.
    .
    Unfortunately, due to the circumstances alluded to above, because the ‘mainstream establishment’ doesn’t understand this ‘phenomenon’, they more or less shun these people, and then, not only do they never get the chance to ‘be the best they can/might be’, WE, AS THE FAMILY OF MAN, are denied the many benefits that they may have offered is in every realm of society imaginable.
    .
    Tragically, these people have no recourse but to simply continue to live out their daily lives while the relentless march of time slowly but surely erases their potentially good ideas, talents and other attributes, from their memories, until eventually all of the hopes, dreams and aspirations that they may have had in their regard finally wither away and die, possibly lost for all time, along with all of the money that they could have made for investors and all of the good that they may have done for mankind.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s