OPINION

Three signs of a great idea

Some people believe that their conviction certifies an idea. This is not always true. Sometimes your gut feeling about an idea works out and other times, it doesn’t

In Summary
  • People want to know the problem that your idea would help them solve
  • People certify your idea as great by paying for it
Grand Challenge call for innovations
Grand Challenge call for innovations
Image: FILE

In my coaching practice, I frequently meet business leaders who have a ‘great idea’ that they are excited about. Normally, they are quick to tell me why they think it would work. In their minds, these leaders are convinced that their ideas would work; this mindset becomes their motivation.

Now, the fact that you think an idea is great does not make it a good one; you can get excited about an idea that turns out otherwise. Some people believe that their conviction certifies an idea. This is not always true. Sometimes your gut feeling about an idea works out and other times, it doesn’t. So, how can you ascertain that you have a great idea? Here are three indicators.

It Solves Problems: Your idea makes you feel good and you can’t wait to share it with the world. But, first answer some key questions: what problem does your idea solve? What question does your idea answer? Who will be helped by your idea? This is the first test that your idea must pass to be certified as great.

It’s not a great idea because you feel good about it. That is not a practical approach. People want to know the problem that your idea would help them solve. That’s what they are truly interested in. Truth is: if your idea does not solve people’s problems, they would not believe that it is a great idea.

People Pay: It’s possible to be ‘romantically’ involved with your idea. This is a situation where the entrepreneur is in love with her idea and hence, blinded to market realities. The fact that it’s a good idea in your head doesn’t qualify it as a good one in the market place. The real question is: are people willing to pay for your idea? How much are they willing to pay? And are they paying? If people are not paying, they don’t believe it’s a great idea. When people pay, it’s a sign that they truly believe in your idea. People certify your idea as great by paying for it.

It’s Timely: Every great idea is timely. This means that it was available when people need it. Ideas like the Google search engine and social media platforms like Facebook were timely ideas. Google appeared when the world needed its growing body of knowledge organized for practical use while Facebook emerged in a world that was seeking greater connectivity. The timeliness of your ideas determines how it is accepted.

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