Considerations before pitching your idea

Posted by kdow on Feb 15, 2016 3:03:45 PM

Build upon your raw idea using Porter’s Five Forces as a guide

Apparently one observable trait of a millennial descendant is entrepreneurship. And apparently, a millennial is anyone born between 1980 and 1995. Which means that there is 15 years worth of people born who are entrepreneurial as a basic trait. As a result, every single 8bit is a millennial (though I just about scrape in).

This fits neatly into the story of how so many startups are being born these days. Cash-rich baby boomers are funding idea-heavy millennials to pursue their dreams of being part of a company that changes the world. Everyone wants to found the next Slack.

Of course, not everyone is tech savvy. Not every business needs a full time dev team right out of the gates. Which is why 8bytes exists. Either to build & deploy a full stack environment, prototype an idea or be a virtual dev team on retainer.

But having an idea & some funding is only one part of the puzzle. Asking the right pre-execution questions is entirely another. Spending time on the app, service & offering to your prospects is what every entrepreneur obsesses over. But there’s more to the puzzle than that. So, here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself, the budding entrepreneur:

  1. If we built this, how easy would it be for another company (new or otherwise) to build the same thing and disrupt our activity?
  2. If there are similar existing solutions out there, what are the barriers to their customers switching to us?
  3. In the industry generally, where is demand generated from (i.e. which persona’s buy)?
  4. How many competitors are out there?

These questions help you frame your idea in a business context. They force you to think of your potential customer, and what that prospective customer is doing right now, before they buy into your idea. They might even re-frame some of your thinking to the extent that the idea warps & changes as a result!

What I’m addressing here is another trait of millennials: they’re too self-obsessed. Building an idea that can become an app or service is very self gratifying. There are a lot of quick wins; from the white board elevator pitch to the website being built in simple HTML. They’re very gratifying and quick to see results from. But the wider business strategy is a lot of deep thinking and spreadsheets. Not nearly as sexy. But almost always more important than v1 of your app.

Think about those before you pitch, and you’ll almost always be more prepared than the person who didn’t think of their prospects & competitors!

For those seeking further reading on this, check out anything related to Porter’s Five Forces… which is what I nabbed some of this from!