Q: I have a great idea for an amazing new product. There is nothing like it on the market and no competition that I can find. I think it will be a huge success and so will everyone I send online gambling sites to. I’ll bet this one farm. What do you think my chances of success are?
A: I’m a bad poker player, mainly because I can’t help grinning like a country idiot when blessed with a winning hand or frowning like a sad clown when dealt a dud.
Nor have I ever taken a chance on the success of the “wonderful new product” because more often than not the only amazing thing is the way the product is completely ignored by people buying. In my software business there have been times when we came up with what we thought was an amazing idea for an amazing piece of software – a piece of software so amazing, in fact, that we knew all humans would sit down and pay attention, then line up to write us. check.
After hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars spent developing the product we were amazed to find that the only people who thought this software was truly amazing were us.
We make humans yawn. Quite a remarkable achievement, if I say so myself.
It’s my concern that you say there is nothing like your idea on the market. While you may think that is a good thing, it may actually mean that there is no market for your product. The same goes for the lack of competition. The total lack of competition may mean that there is no demand for the product.
Rarely does a product come along that revolutionizes the industry. Rarely still does the product create its own new industry. So how can you tell if your amazing new product is really worth gambling on? The truth is, you can never be 100% sure that your idea will sell. No matter how captivated you are or how many friends rave about it, the success of a new idea depends on a number of factors, many of which are beyond your control.
These factors include:
· Survival of the idea: is this really a product that you can build a company around? Does the idea have the potential to generate revenue or customer loyalty?
· People implement ideas: the right team can make even a mediocre product a huge success (never heard of Windows). On the other hand, a bad team can’t sell ice water in Hades. Choose your team carefully. The right people really make all the difference.
· Demand for such a product on the market: will this product fill a need or satisfy an itch?
· Competition: is the market already overcrowded with competitors? If so, what does it take to move your product in front of the pack?
Depth of your pocket: even extraordinary products require a ton of cash to go from the drawing board to the store shelf.
· Availability of other resources needed to take a product off the drawing board for consumers: do you have the time, drive, persistence, knowledge, contacts, support, and hundreds of other things needed to bring your amazing idea to fruition?
· The list would not be complete without luck and time.
· And many other things.
Before you invest too much time and money into your idea, do a little research to determine if it’s an idea that’s really worth gambling on:
· Market research for similar products. Again, if there is no similar product in the market that probably means there is no market for that product. If there really is nothing exactly like your product, research similar products that fill the same void in consumers’ lives. You can learn all about the products such as: price, market share, track record, etc
· Research competition. As mentioned earlier, if there was no competition there might not be a market for a product like yours. If there is competition, research the full competition (the little guys and the big guys) to help determine if you can realistically compete for market share.
· Identify your target customers and ask them for an honest evaluation of the idea and its marketing. Avoid friends and family because they usually only tell you what you want to hear. If your target customer is a 35 year old woman, pitch your idea to every 35 year old woman you meet and measure their response. Just don’t break the law lurking in the name of market research… :o).
The best advice I can give you when it comes to amazing new product ideas is best to follow your head and not your heart. It’s a lesson that took me years to learn. If I had a nickel for any amazing new product I’ve ever invested in I’d go play a few hands of poker.