Recently, I attended a conference at Metropolia University of Applied Science as a co-speaker with my dear friend and workmate Jouko Nyholm. We attended to present about “Enterprise IT and Microsoft Solutions”. Attendees were a group of final year students from the Information Technology and Media engineering course. I spoke about entrepreneurship and during the questions and answer part, a student raised a funny question. The question was “So what is the next good idea to create a new start-up?”. My answer included giving the student advice to read the first part of “An Excellent Idea For a Start-Up (Part 1)” and wait for this blog post. If you haven’t read the first part of my blog post about the perfect idea, I recommend reading it first before continuing with this subsequent post.
Most successful Enterprises are mission oriented. It is extremely hard to gather a large group of people together and have their focus set to produce maximum productivity the company needs to perform an important and successful mission. It is almost impossible to succeed without a good founding idea. If the group does not feel the passion and love for what they are developing, they give up at a certain point in time. There is no way to keep the group together and execute the given mission, specially during the difficult times. Most young founders specially students think that the start-up phase will take a few years and maybe after that phase, the group would feel passionate about the idea. However as I explained before the start-up will take 5-10 years to succeed.
One of the biggest mistakes is to copy an idea with small new insights. The act of copying does not excite people at all and it will not make the team work hard enough to be successful. The puzzle of creating a new idea is the problem that most founders face.
The fact is that the more you practice, the better you become and it is effectively worth trying to get more innovative and productive with the puzzle. The strange part of creating a greater idea is that, the best ideas look terrible at the beginning.
In my case, creating a company with small resources and no enterprise references sounded ridiculous. To be honest no Chief Information Officer (CIO) wanted a garage start-up as an enterprise service provider. The idea of creating a new cloud service provider sounded odd at the beginning because of the lack of trust and market size at that moment but it turned out to be a really good idea as the enterprise cloud transformation started to grow.
The idea to provide the same service as other competitors with the same project model and quality would have been insane and would have never took-off. Entrepreneurs should look for a small market to gain a large part of it and expand the business fast. You should say to yourself; today only a small group of users or companies will use my products or services, but in the future, most of decision-makers will demands to use our services or products.
The entrepreneurs should keep in mind that if they come with a great idea it is possible that most people will keep it as a bad idea. You should not grieve but instead feel happy about it. This is the reason it is not dangerous always to tell others about the idea. Keep also in mind that the bad idea does not sound to be worth to be stolen. Basically, what is needed is an idea that many people are not working on it and it is more than okay that it doesn’t sound big at the beginning. The common mistake amongst young entrepreneurs is that they think the idea they have should sound or be big.
Here comes the secret of perfect idea: after figuring out a new idea, you should evaluate the market. What is needed is a market that is going to be big in 10 years. Most of the people are only interested in the market size existant today and they don’t think at all how the market is going to evolve. The mentioned mistake is not only amongst founders but also among the investors too. Some investors care about the current size of the start-up and not the size of the market in the near feature. In the small markets which expands fast, customers are looking desperately for a solution and have the will to pay for the cure you have for their needs. The important fact is that you cannot create a market which does not want to exist. You can change almost everything from the start-up but not the market. You should make sure and double check that the market you are looking for exists and will likely grow. The fast growing of the market is the most important thing!
Let’s wrap up the blog post:
- Your mission is important to motivate people in the start-up and increase the productivity
- A bad idea is always bad and will not change the way people think about it and will get worse during the difficult times
- Copying an idea with no new insight is wasting time of the whole start-up
- The more you practice developing ideas, the better you will get, so keep trying!
- The idea doesn’t have to sound amazing and big at the beginning
- Share your ideas with others and don’t be scared
- The market is the most important thing with the new idea
- Choose a market which exists, and will grow fast
- You can change everything in your start-up but not the market