Monthly Archives: May 2009

Entrepreneurs Solve Problems

Entrepreneurs change the world by solving problems.

Inspire your community. Make a difference. Be an entrepreneur.

If you need some additional entrepreneurial fodder to start up your business, then the video below is for you. Thanks to Tomas for sharing!

I particularly agree with the ‘turbulence creates opportunity’ sentiment. My Opportunity Abounds in Depressed Economy post this past February reiterates this theme; view problems as opportunities and you may discover a business idea waiting to be developed.

Do you have a problem without an ideal solution? Maybe solving that problem is your opportunity to join the ranks of entrepreneurs making a difference in our world!

Why Sharing Your Startup Idea Improves Chances for Success

Do you have a business idea you are keeping close to the vest?

Well,  DON’T DO THAT!!!  SHARE YOUR IDEAS!!!

That’s right, don’t keep your startup ideas under lock and key.  Share them, give them air to breathe and marinate with helpful feedback from colleagues and potential customers so they can coalesce into even better ideas.

Of course there are exceptions to when you should tell the whole world your idea, but time and time again I’ve learned that sharing your idea will improve your chances for success.

Fear Not – Get a Leg up on the Competition

Some ideas are kept close to the vest because of the fear that someone else will steal it.  The thought of this happening is understandable with truly original ideas, but ultimately very few who hear your concept will have the right skill set, resources, or time in their life to transform it into a business.

(Source: Caledon Today)

(Source: Caledon Today)

Fear not, ideas are the easy part.  The execution of your idea is what really matters.  By sharing your idea, you can improve your execution by better identifying the needs of potential customers and learning things you can use to build a first-mover advantage.

Accountability

As you share idea, chances are you’ll be more committed to making it happen.  Not only are you likely to be more accountable to yourself to see your idea through, but you’ll also feel more accountable to those who’ve helped you along the way.

Connections

Not only does sharing your idea give you valuable feedback, but it can also get you in touch with the right people and expertise to catapult your startup idea into reality.  Find a connector, someone who knows the movers and shakers in your idea’s industry and put out a call for help.

The connections you make will arm you with good advice from the right people, people who understand the industry your concept serves.

Reality Check Feedback

Does your idea have legs?  If your friends are supportive and friendly, then they will probably tell you what you want to hear, i.e. “Your idea is GREAT!,” so tread carefully.

Seek out advise from people who won’t butter you and your idea up too much.  Also, listen for what they aren’t saying to ascertain its potential pitfalls.  Identify what your concept lacks and why it won’t work.  Better yet, ask yourself and everyone else these two questions.

What is this idea missing?  Why won’t this concept work?

These simple questions will force people to give your idea a true reality check so you can address any outstanding issues well before you head down the wrong track.  This exercise will do wonders for the strategic development of your concept.

If you get a lot of criticism, don’t get discouraged.  Embrace criticism and address it head on.  Your idea can be molded to solve that obstacle or be adjusted to flourish in another niche that is more appropriate.  See where your idea fails and how to overcome those potential failures and you’ll have yourself an idea that is more valuable than before!

Does Startup Success Await?

Can your idea be carried out?  Sometimes we underestimate what it really takes to take an idea from concept to reality.  However, if the feasibility of an idea can be reasonably established, a plan can be hatched to bring it to fruition.

Take what you learn from your connections and reality check to help you determine whether to proceed.

If you decide to move forward, fear not – the connections you’ve built, the learnings you’ve gathered from your reality check and the aforementioned feasibility feedback will equip you with the information and tools you need to get your startup idea off the ground.  Then comes the hard part, executing your idea into a successful business.

The important thing is to act!  While others have ideas that are dying in isolation, you’ll be on your way to learning what you need to know to succeed.

Have an idea you’ve been keeping to yourself?  Feel free to share it with me and I’ll give give you my initial feedback and help put you in touch with connections that can help your startup succeed.

Delicious Bookmarks of the Week

10 Small Business Lead Nurturing Tools
10 reviews of some old and new lead nurturing tools geared for small business.

Dilbert on Flirting in a Recession
For some, the recession has it’s upside!

Social Patterns
I’m a big fan of patterned reasoning and Gestalt theory. This site is an interesting wiki around designing social interaction on the web.