by Andrew Collins
Having that lightbulb moment can be both thrilling and overwhelming at the same time. It hits you like a stoke of genius, and you wonder ‘why isn’t this happening now? and then as that settles, you can become confused as you scramble to figure what next. More often you share it with your partner, or colleague and even more often they don’t really get it, or sometimes they just don’t share your enthusiasm. Here’s a few simple steps you can take in a very short time to either generate that enthusiasm to move forward or happily walk away.
Step 1. Write It Down
This will help you further define what it is you’re trying to do. A good tip is to try and explain your idea in just one paragraph, the fewer words the better actually. Look at other websites which use catchy and to-the-point headlines as leads for inspiration. This can be difficult but really spend the time on this as it’s key to having others understand what it is you’re so excited about. Following that now begin to flush our more of the practical elements to the concept by addressing some of these: (in no particular order)
- What problem are you solving
- What is the current way that problem is solved (Is yours 10x better?)
- Who is it for? how big is the addressable market?
- How would it work?
- What special skills do you need to make it a reality? (may require high level engineering skills or further industry knowledge)
Step 2. Draw it
Now that you’ve written it down, you almost certainly have a better idea to how it might work. Most people have very little experience in designing, building or re-imagining how a concept will look and feel. Fortunately for you there are a ton of resources, examples and online tools that may all this easier. There are websites which allow you to very quickly create prototypes, test landing pages, copy worlds best design principles or you can just start from scratch. You can also begin to collect examples of websites or apps which best help tell your story. Use these for inspiration, as you’ll see more and more big sites tend to use common design principles. A fun way is to describe yourself like the ’something’ of the ‘something’ industry, this makes it really easy for people to understand (i.e. ‘We’re like the Uber of logistics’).
Step 3. Test it
OK, now you’re written it down, you have concept drawings and site examples. It’s time to tell your story. This can be painful, fun and sometimes even the most exciting event you’ll have all year – either way it’s critical you do this to sound out feedback. Naturally you’re going to take all of this personally, as you just want them to share in your enthusiasm but dot be dismayed as there feedback can be critical in helping you move forward. To do this just lay out what you’ve written down and drawn into a tight story and then tell it. To help you get started you can try something like this:
- What it is
- How it works
- Problem solved
- Who’s it for
- What it’s like (market examples)
- Your vision (show you’re drawn examples)
Now all of this can be done over a week, a few hours each evening should do it. It’s best to seek feedback from people who sit in the industry you’re targeting, they obviously have intimate knowledge of the climate and will be the best people to validate your thinking. Away you go.
This article was written by Andrew Collins on Linkedin