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Checklist for understanding if an idea is worth pursuing

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Feb 13, 2014

Idea makes money is an overtly propagated assertion which is not true all the time. Consequently, every idea demands a certain level of analysis before execution. In general success of any idea depends on two things: one is execution-how brilliantly you can execute an idea and the quality of idea itself.

However, before executing an idea we need to check out whether the idea deserves the level of work it would take to execute. Below find a checklist for understanding if an idea is worth pursuing or not:

A. Understand the type of problem your idea is going to solve. Ask following questions:

1) What is the problem?
2) Will people pay for having a solution?
3) How many people are affected by that problem?

Most startups fail because they don’t start with real problem. Instead they start with a made-up problem and made-up solution. Although made-up solutions to made-up problems seem plausible for time being but they don’t survive. A social networking site for students, an online shop for baby products, and a search engine for start-ups are example of few ideas that sound great but would not work in real life.

B. Understand the nature and scope of your solution. Ask following questions:

1) What is the type of your solution: is it easily replaceable and imitable?
2) Is it standardized or customized?
3) How easy it is to enter in your sector?

There must be a group of people who will use your idea heavily at the very beginning and there must be a path out to scale and reach out to wider consumer. If there is hardcore user, who will need your solution heavily, at the beginning but no path out to catch up wider target population, or there is no hard core user but a wider target group who may use your solution in future neither case you should start.

C. Understand the link between your capacity and the skills required to implement your idea. Before getting ahead with your idea make sure your skill match the requirements you need to implement your idea. You should do what you and your team understand & can do best. In fact we would suggest not starting with a highly profitable idea if your skill does not match with it.

D. Understand the duration it will take to pick up and your ability to keep things moving. In sectors that takes a lingering time to pick-up i.e. e-commerce back in 2009 in Bangladesh, one should only start when she has enough backings to wait for a lengthy game.

E. Understand the social impact of your idea. Society is becoming more and more important in business. Serving society besides doing business is no more an auxiliary activity rather a mandatory. With the availability of information and increasing access to the sources of information consumers are now more aware about their rights and also conscious about the activities of a brand. It has been found that consumer often prefer products of a socially responsible company over companies that are not.

Complement with brilliant posts on finding ideas and starting upFSTalk Recap: How to generate ideasFirst ‘FS Talk’ recap: 20 QuotablesFace to face with Taslima Miji, Founder and CEO, Techmania

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