Kill Bad Ideas Quick
Kill Bad Ideas Quick
If you let a bad idea get out of hand, you could wake up one day wonder where years of your life (and a chunk of your wallet) went. Inventors can find inspiration for a new project in the blink of an eye, but you won’t always have time to nurture those flashes of brilliance, if dead-end projects are clogging up your calendar.
Sometimes, the idea should be totally scrapped and, others, all you need to do is make a few tweaks to make it better. The only way to know the difference is by learning how to identify a bad idea and what it takes to make a decent idea turn into a winner.
Facing the Reality Around Your Invention
Things don’t always work out the way we intend; that goes for business and in life, in general. You can save yourself a ton of misfortune, just by coming to terms with the fact that there may not be a demand for your idea or that it’d cost way too much to produce it. In the creative industry, profit margins can slip right through your fingers, if you aren’t paying attention. Rather than find yourself at the short end of the stick, here’s some advice to help you evaluate your ideas:
#1 Listen to the Critics
When time and money are on the table, you need to find people who are willing to be brutally honest with you. Don’t go to your sweet Nana to see if she thinks your portable duck washer is a good idea. Find strangers and get their advice. Without emotional attachments, people are much more willing to speak their minds.
It’s not easy for most people to accept scrutiny, but it’s an important aspect of doing business. Believe it or not, if one person’s thinking a certain way about your idea, there are probably hundreds – if not thousands – of others who share their opinion. Any feedback you receive can be used to help you improve on your idea.
When soliciting feedback, ask the questions that stir up answers you may not want to hear like:
- “Would you buy this product?”
- “Why do you need this?”
- “How could it make life easier?”
- “Is there a reason why you would decide against purchasing it?”
- “Do you think you’d get a lot of use from this?”
- “Are there other people in your life who could benefit from this too?”
- “Can you think of any other product that reminds you of this?”
- “Are there any other products that seem like they’re better than my idea?”
The idea is to gather lots of details from as a variety of sources, then compare their responses when redesigning your product.
#2 Putting Advice into Action
The next thing to do is start implementing the feedback. Place all ego to the back of your mind and use the detailed information you gathered to start tweaking your prototype.
I want you to keep in mind that you’ll never be able to satisfy everyone. Still, if you can quickly adapt to practical feedback, you’ll position yourself to be able to hit the market with a strong, well-developed idea.
One way to know if your idea is a winner is by gauging how easy it’ll be for you to implement your target’s suggestions. Easy fixes usually mean you’re on the right path, but difficult, expensive rehabs are an indicator that this idea may not be the best.
This step is so important because it forces you out of analysis paralysis. Theoretically conceptualizing your ideas won’t help you understand all that would be required to produce your invention. When you’re physically piecing things together, you give yourself a decent idea of important details like timelines, expenses, and ease of operation.
#3 Get Professional Opinions
Random feedback gives you an idea of what the general populous might think about your idea, but you’ll really learn about its potential after you get advice from a professional in your field. Find someone trustworthy; someone who’ll give you their honest opinion. You should look for someone who’s knowledgeable enough to predict the longevity of the product you plan to sell.
You never know, the professional may be able to point out something that can salvage your idea. Sometimes, all you need is a second set of eyes to help you see the big picture.
#4 Start Running Ads
This step is another great way to help you determine if your idea needs to walk the plank. Place a quick ad on Google to test the waters and see what type of response you get. Google Ads get a lot of attention from the public and, if your product is interesting enough, they’ll jump at the opportunity to learn more.
The ad campaign can help you see how quickly you can build interest around your idea. It’ll also help you create a platform for potential customers to keep up with your progress. Overall, it’s a great way to start attracting an audience and work on forming quality customer relationships.
Start by offering a simple lead generator, like a report or e-Book that targets a specific problem related to your industry. Develop an opt-in page for those who click on your ad to register to receive the lead generator. This way, you’ll gain access to their contact information, which will allow you to continue marketing and advertising to them in the future.
For this strategy, proper keyword targeting is key. Without the right keywords and tags, you won’t be able to attract enough attention, even if you have a great idea.
Pro Tip: If no one’s taking the bait, or if it’s impossible to find keywords with a healthy audience, that’s a pretty good indicator that the idea should be dropped right then and there.
The final step is to continue testing. You want to learn as much about your market, your target audience, and your product as possible. I always encourage people to let real facts and figures be their guide, not blind optimism. You need to be able to validate the belief that you’re solving a real problem, one that your customer needs handled immediately.
After you run one ad campaign on Google, I suggest running another to compare the data. The last thing you want to do is filter through your findings to search for things that prove you have a good idea. You want the numbers to speak for themselves, instead.
Not only will this give you a sense of reassurance when it’s time to start ramping up your investments, it’ll also stand as proof to the manufacturers, retail owners, and buyers you’ll eventually be working with. Everyone thinks they have a good idea, but the conversation takes a different turn when you have the facts to prove it.