A good business is all about establishing synergy.
Steve Jobs wasn’t the technical mastermind behind Apple; Steve Wozniak was. A good business is all about connecting dots and establishing synergy. Jobs did that.
If you are enthusiastic about innovating, you mostly come up with a software idea. It’s expected as we live in a technology-dominated world. Yet, not all great ideas see the light. Even if they do, not all of them survive.
I hope this will improve your success rate, bringing most of your ideas to apps and apps to victories.
There are many no-code platforms to get your ideas developed. Yes, without a single line of code. If you are curious, Webflow, Bubble, and Softr are some of them. But we aren’t going to talk about them here.
If you wish to manage, but not develop yourself, there are many courses you can follow on the internet. The Harvard Computer Science for Business Professionals is a good one. But we aren’t going to talk about them either.
Our focus is on molding your idea and validating them. It’s about so many other things that are not coding. Here is how we do.
Dream big, start small, and begin now.
Get to the bottom of it
72% of people get their best ideas in the shower. We hope the idea is the one thing that will change our life. In reality, they don’t.
But they could. The key is not to get locked to the first idea that comes to mind. We must learn to shift our focus from solution to problem. Why would people need your idea? In other words, get to the bottom of it.
“Nothing is more creative… nor destructive… than a brilliant mind with a purpose.”― Dan Brown, Inferno
Understanding the “why” behind your idea helps you think open-mindedly. Innovation teams often use something called customer journey maps to do this. Journey maps are the visual representation of a customer’s activities to accomplish things.
Related: How To Find Hidden Opportunities With Customer Journey Maps
Think about alternatives
Now that you know the bottom of your idea. Think about alternative ways to solve the problem. By forcing your mind to think this way, you help yourself to be open to new ideas.
Although you initially thought about an app, think about non-technology solutions as well. Or, think about how you can leverage the existing ones. Remember, a good business is all about establishing synergy.
99 percent of success is built on failure." - Charles Kettering, inventor, and the holder of 186 patents.
It’s a good idea not to limit your thoughts to technical boundaries. Give your creative muscles some freedom to think wild.
The apollo-13 mission to land on the moon failed, and three astronauts were trapped in the open space. The CO2 in the shuttle was rising to a dangerous level. What the NASA scientists did was brilliant. They took a few things they thought the astronauts will have up there and built a prototype of a CO2 scrubber. Astronauts then copied the procedure and survived the mission. That’s how powerful prototypes are.
Here is the corrected transcript and commentary NASA published.
Prototypes are a great way to find what works and what’s not before committing time, money, and effort. It doesn’t have to be a working product. Something that could convey the key experience of your solution is good enough.
"God created a number of possibilities in case some of his prototypes failed - that is the meaning of evolution." - Graham Greene, English novelist.
Wireframes are the most common way software products are prototyped. Tools such as Figma help to create wireframes that look real. With all the stylings and interactions. You don’t have to be a UI/UX pro to do this. Here’s a cool tutorial for you.
Try making as many wireframes/prototypes as possible for your key ideas. (Psst! You thought about alternatives before, haven’t you?) Show them to your potential customers and other key stakeholders. The potential customer will tell you how much they love it. Your engineer will tell you what’s possible and what’s not. Your marketing and finance guys will tell you if it could make any money.
Aim for a desirable, feasible, and viable solution. Those are the ones that thrive in the long run. In design thinking, the creative problem-solving approach, successful brands use the rapid prototyping technique to find an optimal solution.
Related: The beginners’ guide to Design Thinking
Still too early to develop; Test it first.
You might think, “I showed the wireframes and already tested them.” Not yet! Besides testing your potential customers' desirability, you must also research if there is a market for your idea.
I love the way how Drew Houston did a video mockup and tested the idea of Dropbox. Here is the video
This 3-minute video isn’t a real product. Drew did it to test if there is a market for his idea without investing years in development. He published it on his website and measured how much traffic it received. Smart, right?
You can do something similar to your software product as well. You can easily create a one-page website with tools such as Wix. Spend a few bucks on a social media campaign or Google Adwords. You can test how much attraction your product receives without developing anything.
Final thoughts: Development and Funding
Funding and development are only our final consideration. Yet, we are in a confident position now than before. We’ve proved that our concept has a market value. We transformed and improved our idea since it first appeared in the shower.
Now, you know how to get your product developed as well. As I mentioned at the beginning, you may use a no-code platform. Alternatively, you can hire developers to work with you or, you can also find thousands of freelancers waiting to get your job done.
Depending on your idea and how you will put it in place, you can plan to pitch it to a venture capitalist. You can start impressing by telling why people need your product and precisely what your market potential is.
Dream big, start small and begin now.
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