Most people have no idea how to tell if their startup idea is brilliant or absolute junk.
I’m going to give you a sure-fire method to determine the quality of your idea, and more importantly—how likely you are to make money with it.
Accept That Your Idea Might Suck
One thing that most people don’t want to hear or accept is that their ideas suck.
But, that’s not always a bad thing.
Why would you want to invest years of your life and lots of money into a bad idea that may never work?
The more honest you are with yourself from day one, the greater your chances of ultimate success.
Figure Out If Anyone Else Loves Your Idea
Is there an existing market for your idea?
Start by reading Reddit, Quora, app store reviews, Amazon reviews, support forums, customer complaints and everything you can get your hands on about your competition.
Find out what people love and hate about existing products.
Here’s a full explanation of the method that I use to judge my ideas without bias: 4 Secret Words to Unlock Multi-Million Dollar Online Business Ideas
If you are inventing something that has never been done before, in a nonexistent market, you better have some serious time, money and resources behind you.
If nobody else loves your idea, are you really going to invest significant energy into convincing people why they need it?
Chances are, most of your friends and family will tell you that your idea is great as long as you sound extremely passionate about it. That proves passion but doesn’t prove a good idea.
Decide If You Are An Inventor or Entrepreneur
An inventor invents. An entrepreneur builds a business.
It’s important to note that the two are completely different.
I know many entrepreneurs who do not invent new products that have never been seen before.
In fact, they do the exact opposite. They go after a market with a big enough existing dollar value, and they aim to take a piece of that by improving an existing type of product.
That’s because they know very well that they want to tap into existing needs and desires rather than having to spend millions (maybe billions) to educate people on something brand new, that they don’t know they need yet.
People see visionaries like Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX) and Travis Kalanick (Uber) out there creating these massive never been done before companies, and they think they can too with minimal effort if they just have passion.
While anything is possible, it definitely requires massive effort, and massive funding.
Elon Musk poured hundreds of millions of his own money into his companies after selling PayPal. Travis Kalanick had to raise ten billion dollars to get Uber where it is today. I’m going to say that again. Ten billion dollars.
One Man’s Garbage is Another’s Treasure
The concept of a good or bad idea is relative to you, your resources, funding, experience, network, etc.
A very good idea in the wrong hands may not work. A bad idea in the right hand may do alright.
Here’s the thing—
If you are die-hard super passionate about something, and you know 100% that you can make it work, no matter what the challenge, competition, lack of market size or obstacles. Do it.
But at the end of the day, you have to take a close look and figure out what you are really fighting for.
I would prefer to be super passionate about what I’m doing and have a legitimately great idea.
Often entrepreneurs get stuck on these wild goose chases that they call business ventures, and end up wasting years of their lives and countless dollars pursuing something that most people would have abandoned on day 1.
You are your own biggest fan and also your own worst critic.
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Published June 3, 2016