It has been a while since my last blog post, but in IT business a lot happens at beginning of the year which has kept me particularly busy. I would like to dedicate my next two posts to the subject of an “Idea” and the importance of the idea behind start-ups.
Whilst acting as an entrepreneur, I have engaged in constructive discussions with young entrepreneurs and some students who are planning their own start-ups. In most cases, I felt that young entrepreneurs do not focus on the idea or about the importance of the idea. This causes them to ignore the time they should spend to think and evaluate the value of the product or service they plan to deliver.
I found that these sorts of people tend to rush the start-up and gain success in a silver plate. Rushing to start-up may not be a bad idea, because things evolve and the world changes continuously, and in all honesty a good execution has extremely more value than a good idea. However, I believe it is clear that a bad idea is still a bad idea. Even the greatest execution will not get start-ups anywhere. Nonetheless, there are some minimal exceptions, but most successful companies have initially started up with a good “Idea”.
So, what can the Idea be described as and is it only reflective of the product or the service that one wishes to start-up?
In fact, most people seem to think that the idea is derived from being able to answer: “What do we want to provide to the customer”. However, the definition of an idea is much wider than answering these sorts of questions. The definition of an idea includes the size and growth of the market, the growth strategy for the company and the defence strategy of the company against competitors.
During the idea evaluation, the founder should go through all facts and evaluate the quality of the chosen idea. As mentioned in my previous posts, it takes at least 10 years to shape a successful company. Therefore, it is really worth sitting back and taking enough time to think about the long term goals in order to add value to the business. This would then allow you to build on defending the business at depression. It is almost impossible to plan everything in advance and the start-up should be as agile as possible, and planning beforehand may become worthless at some point, but the practice of the planning has a grand value for the future. In most start-ups there is a lack of long term panning but if you have it, you will possess great advantages in the future.
The idea of my start-up currently known as Digital Illustrated was born during my last year as an employee. I was unsatisfied with the way the company was lead and the strategy in which the projects were managed. Repeated management errors occurred during my career and at the same time, the IT business was transforming.
Moreover, the term “cloud computing” was still unknown to most people and Microsoft lunched the first version of Office 365 (known as BPOS back then). Therefore the Idea I came up with was: Create an agile company in Microsoft’s ecosystem and go “Cloud”. The defence strategy was to generate and provide services with extremely high quality that makes end users and employees extremely satisfied. The idea was not the most unique one, but this was a new born market on its way and a gap to for us to fill. I intend to go into further detail about the relationship between the “market” and the “idea” in the second part of my blog post.
To wrap-up the first blog post about how to have a new idea for a start-up, here are some issues I advise you to keep in mind:
- The idea always expands and you will become more ambitious as the journey of your start-up goes on,
- You don’t need to plan everything from A-Z, but it is good to have a plan to start with,
- The idea should always come first and then you should go for the start-up,
- You should wait until you have the perfect “idea”. It is important as you should aim to choose between good and bad ideas;
- If you have multiple good ideas and you want to choose the best one, take the one which you have mostly in mind during your free time (most of the founders regret the fact that they started the company without the idea they loved).