The ideas manifesto. What makes a good idea? #1

April 18th, 2010

What makes a good idea?

Simple.  It’s not complex.  It’s easy to build and execute.  If I was to make it out of lego it would probably only involve two or three parts.  When it’s lego technics… probably too far.

It’s been done before.  Maybe not in the same context.  But the same framework.  Calcium enriched Milk.  Calcium enriched Yoghurt.  Framework taking an increasingly perceived commodity and providing a value add.  What is that value add? Whatever the consumer will pay.

It won last time.  Or you know why it failed last time.

Someones already doing it, and you can do a million times better at a bigger margin.

Your idea is expensive. Expensive in time, money, commitment or attention.

You haven’t coated a simple idea with three or four layers of complexity (like an onion).  When you bite into it, it’s sour, take the layers away expose the core idea.  If it’s too weak it’s not good enough.

Like the onion example, compromise isn’t your friend.  The more compromise the more boring and average it is.  Take out the added widget, stick to the core idea without compromise.

Make sure someones already buying it.  Whether it’s a replacement technology OR they’re demonstrating behaviour which proves the pain.  Unless you have a global platform to launch on like Steve Jobs, it’s dam hard to create totally new behaviour.

Profit from day one or very very early on.  Sales speak louder than any pitch, don’t forget the dollars.

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