Will Your Idea Fly?

Do you remember your last big idea? The thrill, passion and energy you felt when you initially conceived of the thought, and the ‘I-better-launch-this-by-tomorrow-before-anyone-else-thinks-of-it’ panic attack that follows?By San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

Such moments often keep me up all night. Over the years, however, I’ve learned to do two things. First, before getting overexcited about an idea, I wait until the next morning.  For some reason, ‘next mornings’ tend to put things in perspective. If my enthusiasm and excitement has still not abated by then, it’s time for my next test; the wife.  My wife (as much as I love her) has this amazing ability to shoot down my ideas and ‘advise’ me as to why my hair-brained schemes won’t work. And after so many years of marriage and kids, I’ve finally come to learn and admit one thing; she’s always right. She always puts things in perspective by asking me some vital questions.

While generating ideas can be fun and a necessity for innovation, executing on it is very trying and tiring. It can suck all that initial pent-up energy and enthusiasm you had. So, before starting your journey down the path to launch, you may want to ask yourself some of the following questions:

  1. What is the specific need or problem that your idea will solve?
  2. Why is it so important for you to solve this problem now?
  3. How passionate are you about solving this problem?
  4. How big is the market, and is this market growing or shrinking?
  5. Is there a simpler, easier alternative? Don’t get tied to your idea. Have an open mind. Remember, you can’t solve all problems with a web app. Sometimes, basic manual or traditional ways of doing things are the best or most effective.
  6. Is there anyone else doing this already?
  7. Will people be willing to pay for your solution (at a profitable rate)?
  8. Can you find other people passionate about the idea willing to work for you, and can you pay them and still make money?
  9. How easily/cheaply can you spread the word to your target market?
  10. Can you easily deliver to your market?
  11. How hard is it for others to copy you and come up with a better idea? Can you stop them?
  12. Are there any legal reasons that will stop you from launching your idea?
  13. Can you easily get paid (in the currency of your customer’s choice)?
  14. Can your product/service evolve once it reaches its prime?

Of course, gut instinct and intuition play a huge role, and sometimes just plunging in is all that is needed. But taking some time to consider these questions may save you a lot of effort, resources and time down the road. Perhaps your idea just needs to be tweaked. Perhaps your idea (like 9 out of 10 of mine) belongs in the trash. Or perhaps you just nailed the jackpot.