Every developers can tell you the same stories. They’ve met several prospects coming in with his revolutionary idea, ready to take over the world. Usually followed by : “Could you do it for free? I don’t have any money right now, but you’ll get some shares of the company once it’s bringing cash. It’s a great opportunity for you!”. First of all, notice the usage of the term “money” instead of the term “budget”. That’s a common mistake, showing a lack of preparation during his resource assessment.
Secondly, it will take an average of 2 minutes of an experienced developer to invalidate the prospect’s idea. But it’s not the responsibility of the developers to do so. At best, he should validate the technicals possibilities and give you advice of alternatives way of building it.
Ideas needs to be validate before you reach the step of approaching a developer.
There is a lot you can do by yourself. Validate the idea before putting too much time on it is a must-do if you want to avoid your list of abandoned projects to grow.
Toss the idea around your relatives
Don’t be afraid to speak about it with your relatives. Whether your idea is a quality of life improvement or some exciting new product to be sold online, chances are this will speak to the person near you.
Prepare a 1 minute speech. People in front of you need to be able to understand the concept in such a time. If they don’t, it mean that it’s not clear enough on your head yet. Work this speech until everyone around you can understand it. Every time you present it, feedback can help you improve it.
Do not play the thief card
Keeping your idea to yourself doesn’t make sense. You are (probably) not the Winklevoss brother so unless you are preaching your idea to a serial entrepreneur, the risk of your idea being stolen is pretty low. Toss it around. You need feedbacks and opinion.
Do a market research
Do a market research. Do a market research. Do a market research. Do a market research. Got it? This will save you a lot of time.
A market research will tell you about potential competitors. Before jumping in the lake, you need to know how many sharks already live there. If there is a lot, maybe it’s not the good lake. If there is none, it could mean there is no fish in the lake or you may have find yourself a niche market.
Take time to looks at the competitors. Compare their product to yours. You need to be able to easily explain how your product will improve the life of your customer better than theirs. And maybe, this research will highlight a big omission or an opportunity.
Now that you are confident you can become one of the neighbourhood sharks, time to see if the fishes are there.
There isn’t such thing as a magical way to know that. But a few tools can help you here.
Looking at your competitor’s metrics (customers and social media followers) can be a first. Looking for existing market research online on websites like https://www.statista.com/ would be another one. Google also provide you with tools to help you look at the trending and keyword search volume. Searching for a keyword in Google Trend will give you the interest around this keyword over a period. Google Keyword Planner (or other tools like Keyword Finder, Ubersuggest) will help you find keywords around your idea, their volume, and how competitive they are. This will give you a good idea of the audience you could expect.
If you plan for organic searches to be one of your major source of acquisition, those tools will help a lot and looking early at it won’t do any harm!
Be a specialist
In conclusion, before going to the next steps of your project you need to, at least:
- Be able to explain it correctly
- Have done a market research
And most of all, you need to be the right person for that idea. Customers will pay either for your service or your product. So it’s reasonable to say that you need to be one of the field’s expert out there. You will be the one providing an answer to their needs or questions. And making yourself the go-to guy on this topic, will bring more customers on your way!