When I’ve put together the process of building a successful business or startup, I wrote a few paragraphs on each step and they are highly applicable when you’re ready. However, I’d like in this article to delve a little deeper into the “identify gap and idea” step.
Let’s get to it.
I typically jump straight into ideation as I typically have a product idea before starting this process. But it’s possible some of you just itch to create a product or start a company, but don’t know what you’d like to build. This is where this article is useful. And the best way to get started is to look at yourself. Get to know YOU a little better and WHY do you want to be an entrepreneur.
So let’s start with why. Something or someone put the spark of wanting to start a business. Who is this person to you, or why would you want to follow their advice? Why suddenly are you motivated to create a startup and a new product? Look around and find your why, which is super important. Without a strong purpose, your motivation will quickly dissipate as you move towards your product launch. Spend some time understanding why you’re doing this. Put it down on a piece of paper.
If you’re struggling with this step, it’s completely normal, but you need to go through it. Building a startup is far from easy and there will be times where you’ll question everything, especially when the initial steps throw you a curveball. I’ve experienced this myself, not having a strong enough why for a product or a project I was building through tons of challenges, and it was hard not to quit. Find your purpose and reasons early, you’ll thank me later.
Let’s brainstorm some ideas. First, without thinking, put on the back of the paper any product ideas you may currently have or would like to see in the market. There are no wrong ideas here, and everything goes. And if you don’t currently have any ideas yet, do the following exercises to get your juice flowing:
The goal here is to build out a list of ideas, as crazy as some of them might sound, you don’t restrict yourself from putting anything down nor use your judgmental side to shoot down any ideas. This is not part of this process. We do this later.
Now, finished with your brainstorming session, you must have a fantastic list of potential products. Once you’ve identified all the best product ideas, for each one ask yourself the following questions and rank each of them by adding a point (1) for each where you answered YES. So, you’ll end up with your list of products having a score and be able to see which ones have the best chance of being successful:
Once you’ve got a list with scores for each one, take the time to select the best one to three ideas you’d like to brainstorm with. If the signs are all pointing towards one, then just go with one.
Now that you’ve determined which product you’ll push forward with, you can carry on to ideation.