4 Questions You Need To Ask Before Investing In Your BIG Idea by @graceformoms

by Jessica Wolstenholm | Featured Contributor

So you have this great idea. Who says?WomanThinking

If we pursued every idea that graced our busy minds we’d fill the world with a lot of mediocrity. Unfortunately, not every concept we dream up is strong. In fact, most of them are not even worthy of a second thought. Still, the most successful businesses, products and pieces of art began as a fleeting thought. Therefore, we cannot give up on imagining the next big thing. We simply need to know how to separate good ideas from bad.

Once you are able to verbalize {or write down} the basic concept of your idea, there are 4 important questions you must ask in order to determine whether or not the idea is worthy of pursuit. Experts in the product development field call this “idea confirmation” , “ideation”  or “idea screening.” When working through this part of the process, you must be brutally honest. If possible, involve others in the process but be sure to consult those outside your direct sphere of influence to provide the most objective feedback.

1. Is this idea unique? I’ve heard it said that there are no new ideas. While this may appear to be true in our culture which seems to have a product to answer every question and fill every need, there is always room for creativity to lead us to idea success. As I considered my idea for a pregnancy/baby book, I knew right off the bat it wasn’t a completely unique idea. However, when I researched faith-based pregnancy books that brought together a girlfriend’s thoughts and a doctor’s wisdom, I couldn’t find one. Bingo. On the surface my idea may have seemed unworthy of pursuit, but because I zoned in on a specific niche with a specific need, I was able to develop a product that filled a void in an otherwise saturated space. If your idea isn’t completely unique or has been done before, the next part of this question to ask is, Can I do it better? Uniqueness doesn’t always refer to just the idea itself. If you are confident your execution and presentation of the idea will blow all others out of the water, your answer to this ever-important first question should be a resounding YES!

2. Does this idea meet an important need? Of course what one would deem “important” is completely objective. Still, you should be able to determine the depth of need your idea would meet. The most desperate the need or the more obvious a prospective audience is, the stronger the idea. But don’t shy away from an idea because it meets a niche need. Simply adjust your expectations and understand that development and growth may come at a slower pace.

3. Is the target audience willing to invest in what I want to create? A problem solving product for moms? A website/subscription to help entrepreneurs? Will your target audience spend money on your big idea? Although price strategy and investment costs will come later in the product development process, you will need to know roughly what you want to charge for your big idea in order to determine whether or not the cost will be acceptable to your consumer. This goes back to the last question about felt need. If your product/service meets an important need, your consumer will be willing to make the investment in order to improve their life.

“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

4. Do I believe in this idea enough to sacrifice time and money to bring it to life? Does your big idea keep you up dreaming late at night? Does the burning desire to go after it consume your thoughts? If your passion is so great that you can’t imagine NOT going for it, and you’ve successfully answered the above questions, it’s time to take the leap into product development. Keep in mind that the PD process is expensive, long and grueling. You will eat, sleep, and drink your idea clear through to completion and beyond – when the real work begins – in upkeep and marketing of your product. If your passion is so deep that you know related ideas/content will keep flowing, and you can afford the investment of time and money, you are ready to move forward in seeing your big idea become a reality.

With a balance of passion and a commitment to the process you will see your product impact the world. Are you ready to bring your idea to life?

“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” Benjamin Franklin

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Jessica Wolstenholm – Product Development Maven, former Brand/Marketing Manager
headshot 2 editBefore getting her dream job as a stay-at-home mom, Jessica Wolstenholm worked in the music and publishing industries for over 15 years serving major labels and publishers in marketing and brand management. Although her transition from the corporate world to the playground has been quite an adjustment, she’s learning to love the juggle of home life and various entrepreneurial projects that allow her to keep creative juices flowing. With an extensive background in product development in which she helped artists, authors and speakers take their dreams from concept to reality, Jessica could not help but apply her experience to her own ideas. Co-author of The Pregnancy Companion and The Baby Companion books, Jessica also writes to encourage moms at graceformoms.com. She lives just outside Nashville, TN with her husband and two children.
Connect with Jessica:

Twitter: @graceformoms

Facebook: facebook.com/graceformoms

Blog: graceformoms.com

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/jessicawolstenholm/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/102121400685291965216/

4 Responses to 4 Questions You Need To Ask Before Investing In Your BIG Idea by @graceformoms
  1. Jess Wolstenholm
    July 26, 2013 | 7:31 pm

    Hi Lisa! So great to meet you. Your product sounds great! I’m going to check it out! You are so right, just need to DO IT. I suppose I could have added a 5th question: are you afraid of failure? Because you can’t be! You just have to try.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I look forward to connecting with you more!

  2. jess wolstenholm
    August 5, 2013 | 9:37 pm

    [...] week I began an exciting new partnership, writing over at She Owns It about product development and marketing. This community of entrepreneurial women is a powerhouse of [...]

  3. [...] you’ve asked all the important questions and decided to pursue your big idea, it’s time to create a proposal for possible partners. [...]

  4. […] the past few months we’ve discussed the questions you need to ask before pursuing your big idea and the components of an intriguing product proposal. Once you’ve gotten your idea on paper […]

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