by Nicolas Jacobeus, on 3 August 2020
Bright ideas can quickly fade into obscurity if they’re not strategically planned, so it’s important to understand what comes after the light bulb moment.
Every business has to start somewhere. Even today’s global giants started as nothing more than a bright idea. For instance, the Innocent Drinks brand was formed after its three co-founders spent a weekend selling smoothies at a music festival. It now owns 21.3% of the market for chilled drinks. The Linux operating system was devised by a Finnish IT student frustrated by the UNIX servers his university used, and now it powers four out of five smartphones.
But for every startup idea that succeeds, there are hundreds that fail. These businesses only succeeded because their founders came up with detailed plans to support their ideas. Even the brightest of ideas will fail to shine without a strategy for what comes next. You need to know how to validate your theory with market research and pitch your startup idea properly.
Many entrepreneurs are overflowing with ideas for new products and services, but launching them requires more than just creativity and optimism. The Innocent co-founders went through twelve versions of a business plan before attracting funding, while Linus Torvalds spent three years refining his software kernel before launching it in 1994. Had he rush-released it, Linux probably wouldn’t be the third largest operating system, after those offered by Microsoft and Apple.
In many respects, having an idea is the easy part. The hard part is curbing your enthusiasm and approaching development methodically. There are several key stages which are needed to bridge having a Eureka moment and bringing it to market – such as validating your theory and deciding how to pitch a startup idea to potential investors.
Most new tech ideas are new variations on known themes, so study the market to see where existing alternatives fall short. If your idea revolves around an unmet need or a pain point with no easy solution, how can your solution help?
We’ve discussed the need for market validation to establish that people will welcome your solution. Before you move too quickly to build your idea into a product, you need to find out what people really want.
Many startup founders make the mistake of jumping quickly into building their product. But a business plan is equally vital whether you’re crowdfunding an idea or pitching investors. We recommend the Lean Canvas framework, which guides you efficiently through the main points you need to think about.
Armed with market validation and a business plan, you should know how to pitch a startup idea with confidence. Nobody expects the finished product at this stage – just evidence that your idea is viable. Financial projections will inevitably be educated guesswork, but if your pitch is reassuring and realistic, investors can be persuaded to jump onboard.
Your growth rate trumps all in terms of startup survival. New companies are like rockets, burning huge amounts of resources as they launch. Consider ways to ensure your new enterprise scales quickly enough to pay off setup costs and cover its ongoing expenses. Could an angel investor help to accelerate growth? How will advertising and marketing help?
By now, your idea has been refined, costed and put on track for growth. You need to develop the public face of the brand or business – usually centred on a website or a mobile app. This needs a partner organisation capable of building your back office and client-facing presence quickly, meeting your expectations while offering honest advice to ensure the end result is optimized.
This final stage can be greatly simplified by employing a partner like Belighted. A product studio is a multidisciplinary agency that handles everything from product design and development to web site building to marketing strategies. They conduct each step of the process in collaboration with clients, ensuring seamless integration between different stages of the process. For example, they might suggest website refinements to dovetail with long-term financial goals, or identify areas where existing competitor services overlap with yours.
Studios can also provide a voice of reason, which may be invaluable if you’re getting carried away by an idea’s potential. A multidisciplinary agency will offer impartial opinions from experts in specific niches like UX design and product development. A calmly dissenting voice may steer you away from potential pitfalls, increasing the likelihood of eventual success.
Most tech innovations are devised with high hopes but low levels of available funding. As such, a multidisciplinary product studio can minimize setup and development costs, freeing up available revenue for marketing and staffing.
With many years of experience, Belighted serves as a dependable partner for tech startups. Contact us for details of our pricing and services, or to request a free product development assessment.
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