For New Ideas, Look at Moving Categories that Other Entrepreneurs are Missing and Focus on the Niche

  • You’re in business; stuff always comes up in the last minute
  • For ideas, look at moving categories that other entrepreneurs are missing and focus on the niche
  • Look deep into the data to look for opportunities
  • Prototype quick, if it gains traction, make it big
  • Entrepreneurs have some kind of level of A.D.D.

Source: David Cancel (@dcancel) of Performable, through Mixergy on 6/4/2010

Pioneering a New Category, Creating a Need, Selling The Startup & Moving on

On Entrepreneurs:

  • Have a vision of how things could be to a point where it’s only a matter of time before your vision is real.
  • Talk about the things in the future as though they’ve already happened today.
  • Entrepreneurs don’t see the future as possible, but rather as probable
  • Ask “How are you going to change the world with this product?”
  • Gauge your success by how many times people recognize what you do

On Startups:

  • Sell a business and don’t look back. It’s a chapter
  • Be comfortable selling and moving on
  • Sometimes the timing is not right to start. Keep developing until the timing is right
  • Don’t go of and build something unless you’re pretty sure you’ll solve a need

On Product Development:

  • First Ask “Is this something I would buy?”
  • Secondly “Will the technology support this idea?”
  • Thirdly “Can you solve the problem at a price that’s acceptable to the market?”
  • Every year, the cost of technology decreases by 35%, thus increasing the success of your business
  • Be careful of the advice given to you at product development phase

On Customers:

  • Simplify the decision process; both at customer acquisition, and at secured customer
  • Address the issues, be responsive and jump in. Be like Nordstrum, take the blame even if not your own
  • If you don’t know the answer, find someone who does, don’t give your customers BS
  • When things break, the people need someone to hold your hand
  • Do your market research first
  • Talk to 100 people, write down their responses, and this will represent the bigger picture

References:

David Friend of Carbonite, through Mixergy.com on 4/29/2011

What is Innovation?

Innovation is the successful exploitation and execution of the opportunity of an idea within a business model.

Innovation – This is the space following an idea generation session (creative thinking, brainstorming, etc.). Innovation deals more with quality, evaluation and implementation. It’s an idea that has the proper resources supporting it and ideal market conditions ahead. Innovation is about moving a novel idea into an idea of value that fills a specific need. Identifying an innovative idea can be a creative process.

Idea Generation – The generation of ideas. This deals with quantity and novelty. This is what we typically refer to as Creativity.

Opportunity – An opportunity looks at and depends on resources (capital, staff, sales team, etc.), and conditions (consumer need & desire, idea value, competition, timing, etc.)

Bottom Line: Innovation is when a highly creative person becomes a successful entrepreneur.

Criteria For a Successful Startup

Every successful entrepreneur has his own criteria for measuring the success factor of an idea for starting a business. There is also value in studying how others make decisions. Norm Brodsky, a veteran entrepreneur who founded and built half a dozen large companies, uses a simple approach when starting a business.

According to Brodsky, three factors must be at play when venturing out:

An Established Concept

Education can be expensive. Educating the masses can be really expensive, not to mention a daunting task for a business to undertake. Stick with something people are familiar with.

Focusing on an established concept does not lessen your ability to create innovative and revolutionary products. Take Apple for example. They’ve been doing the same thing since day one – developing technology that is intuitively simple, functional and beautiful. The iPad, the iPhone, the Touch – these are all familiar devices. The market does not need a crashcourse on what these devices are and what they do. Yet, they are truly remarkable products that challenge our accepted perception of what technology is able to do, how it’s able to do it – and its aesthetics. Human-centered design has been around for centuries, yet Apple continues to push the envelope.

Takeaway – Instead of painfully searching for the “next big wow thing”, identify a familiar or understood industry/product and build upon it. Just look at what Aaron Patzer did with mint.com – genius!

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We Need More Forms, Hoops & Procedures; How to Kill Your Business the Bittersweet Way

A simple theory of input-output in economics states that as more resources are added (the input) such as staff, raw material, time and technology, then productivity (the output) will increase as well.

There does come a tipping point when the production curve makes a downward dash. As input is increased beyond the tipping point, it will begin have an adverse effect on productivity, causing production to decrease quantitatively and qualitatively.

If 5 workers are assigned to lay shingles on a roof of a single-family home, they will get the job done much quicker than with 2 workers. If 20 workers were assigned to the same project, productivity would decrease as communication becomes more complex, task assignment is unaccounted for, worker mobility is limited, etc.

The same holds true in any other system and context.

(more…)

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