Perhaps you have a great idea for a product – you’re excited about transforming your idea into something real, something people will love. There are a lot of steps required in achieving this goal and each will offer its own unique challenges but the hardest of all can be taking that first step.
The most fundamental step for any start up business is to actually START.
There are many great ideas out there that will never reach realisation because the idea holder doesn’t make the first step. If your sitting on a great idea, then START turning it into a reality right now. The more you think it over, analyse and procrastinate, the longer the list of reasons not to do it becomes. The only way to realise an idea is to just dive in straight away and make a start. Find the necessary resources, skills and people you need to get started and JUST DO IT.
If you want to succeed then you have to adopt the right attitude. Forget about all the reasons you have created in your head as to why it won’t work – the only way to determine if something will work or not is to actually do it, not think about it.
To help put yourself in the right frame of mind, associate with the right people – people who are positive, ambitious and adopt a can do attitude; these people will help and encourage you. This is very important; many people will be quick to shoot down your ideas and add to that list of reasons you’ve created as to why it shouldn’t or can’t be done.
A positive attitude goes a long way. You also have to have self belief; both in yourself and your idea – if you don’t believe in what your doing then no one else will either.
Embrace the possibility of failure and conquer the fear. When you were a child, you fell over many times as you learned to walk – you endured a string of failures but it’s probably a safe bet that you don’t crawl around on all fours as an adult. Each time, you got up and tried again until you got it right.
If you have tried something that didn’t work out, then it’s not really a failure. You’ve managed to realise one of your ideas – this is a huge accomplishment in itself, be proud of yourself because many people will never do anything about their ideas. You have also had the opportunity to learn and this can only serve towards attaining future success.
I know now ten thousand ways how not to invent the lightbulb.
Someone Has Already Done It So There's No Point
An original idea is a rare thing; someone, somewhere has had a similar idea to you. Ideas aren’t worth much – the value comes from the implementation. Of course, there may be someone else who has created something similar but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it also.
You are the only person in the world who can see things from your perspective and no one else shares the same values as you. This is a unique combination that allows you to solve problems in a way that nobody else can.
Just like you, other people have their own perspectives, values and needs – this allows for the possibility of different products that do similar things. It’s rare that one product will fulfill every users’ needs within a market. There is more than one car manufacturer in the world, more than one brand of chocolate and more than one email or Twitter client. Each have their place with certain groups of users.
All you need to do is provide your own solution to a problem; if it’s good then other people will like it too. You may be at a disadvantage if you have competitors who have been in the market for a while and have built up strong user traction but you also have a number of advantages:
- You can learn from your competitors mistakes
- You are not subject to the same pressure that comes with being the first to market
- You have the agility to adapt quickly to suit new market needs
There are plenty of products that entered the market late and wen’t on to dominate. Facebook was certainly not the first social network nor was Google the first search engine. These companies just did things better than their previous competitors.
I Don't Know How It Will Make Money
Having a well defined revenue model will work in your favour; especially if you’re seeking investment but it isn’t always possible from the outset. There are some circumstances where it is difficult or impossible to predict how a product will be monetized, therefore gaining user traction first can be beneficial. If you have a lot of users, you can analyse their behaviour and create a revenue model based on this.
Pinterest initially operated without a clearly defined revenue model – it might have been an option to incorporate advertisements at first but after gaining traction and analysing the behaviour patterns of their users they were able to generate a business model based on product referrals – this may not have been an option that was initially visible. It’s easier to monetize when you understand how people are using your products.
It’s also important that money is not your prime motivator, if your creating a product just to make money you have a smaller chance of succeeding. Be passionate and build something you love. Your passion will drive you to create something brilliant that other people will fall in love with too – the money will follow.
Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter talks about the three phases of a start up as being:
- Passionate about the product
- Passionate about your customers (and the product)
- Passionate about revenue (and the product and customers)
I Don't Have The Skills To Do It Myself
Find people to help you – determine your strengths and weaknesses and find people who are good at what you are not. You don’t have to do everything yourself; although this can be a hard pill to swallow for many creative people, but you simply will not be able to build a product to the same quality as you could within a team of experts
Dave Turner illustrates this well using a band metaphor – a world class lead guitarist cannot also be a world class drummer and bass guitarist within the same band. Each band member brings their own talent and strengths and together they create something wonderful.
If you still need some motivation then you should definitely watch this fantastic TED talk by Gary Vaynerchuk.
Once you make a start, then the rest of the journey will become an exciting learning experience. So, just do it.