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I’ve seen and heard it numerous times—programmers who think they have great ideas then spend weeks or months hacking together some code only to find in the end that no one will be using the product of their hard work. It’s quite a sad story but it happens often in the entrepreneurial world. Sure there are some notable people that have actually pulled it off, but they were either a genius or just got lucky. Or, before launch, did they have a strategy?
Believe it or not, good ideas aren’t really that hard to find and you just need to know where to look for and how to spot them. So how do you know if you have a good idea? A good indicator is if you can get paying customers even before you start building your software.
In this blog post, we’re going to show you why it’s important to get customers for your idannounceea before you even launch.
If You Build It, They Won’t Come
Pretty much every programmer who’s had a good idea thinks that they can quickly hack together some code and get rich overnight. In practice however, it’s almost always never the case.
One can say that a good idea is subjective. People love using Facebook and Twitter for social media, so it makes sense that a social network for cat owners would be a big hit right? Probably not.
Some people would agree with you that it may be a good idea but would they actually use it themselves even if they had a cat? The answer as you probably assumed is a big fat NO. Even if they are your friends and family, the most you’ll probably get is them creating an account and signing up with no plans of ever actually using the thing ever again.
Whether you’re a programmer or not, don’t make the mistake that the majority of people do. Thinking you have a good idea then diving head first into building something that no one will actually use. The best approach for this situation is to not write one line of code before you already have customers ready to pay you money.
Research and Genuine Feedback Before Launch
People unfortunately don’t ask for feedback right away and when they do, they solicit it from friends and family. This isn’t to say that friends and family can’t give good genuine feedback. Typically your friends and family will tell you what you want to hear since you’re obviously excited about your idea. This may seem like a nice thing to do but in the end, it hurts more than helps. When it comes to determining if your idea is worth investing your time and money into, you need to do serious research and get feedback from potential customers. Who better to ask about an idea than the ones you’re going to be marketing the product or service to?
Out of all of the work that goes into building your product or service, this is the most crucial and important step. Mess this step up and you’re pretty much setting yourself up for failure. Make sure to do your research and talk to your customers and find out the pain points in their life. Learn about their problems and think about how you can fix them and help make their life easier. Is this something you could build with software and offer them? If it is then you’re on your way to finding your great idea.
Most importantly, by talking to your potential customers and finding out whether or not they would be willing to purchase your product or service beforehand, you know already if it’s something worth building not. This not only saves you valuable time and money, but when you do get ready to launch, you already have people lined up ready to give you their money.
Three Signs of a Good Idea
The best way for any entrepreneur to have a successful business is to do one of three things—solve a problem, automate a tedious and repetitive task, or create something that makes someone’s life easier. If your idea employs at least one of these then it almost always means you have a potential success on your hands.
You have to ask yourself, why would someone give me their hard earned money for this? Would I actually pay money for this? If you wouldn’t pay for that kind of product or service then others won’t either. By solving a problem you are essentially taking away someone’s frustration. You’re making their life a little less complicated. In this overstressed and overworked world, people are willing to pay for some extra piece of mind.
The same applies for automating repetitive tasks or making a difficult task easier. If you’re able to create something that saves people valuable time, then you’re allowing them to spend it on other things like making more money. This is something that people will happily pay for because unfortunately there are only 24 hours in a day.
In the end, testing the waters before jumping in is a smart habit for entrepreneurs. This allows you to find out if your idea is worth pursuing before you invest precious time and money into it.
By talking to potential customers and finding out if it’s something they want to spend money on, you are putting yourself in a good position. It will cost you nothing except a little bit of your time but you will end up having an audience who’s ready and willing to buy whatever it is you’re selling on the first day of your launch.