Once you have a few ideas on your short list to pursue and possibly put into action, it’s important to put in some time investigating ideas before you make your final decision on which ideas to prioritize for implementation.
Look into the history of your idea. Don’t be naive enough to think you were the first person to think of the concept — somewhere in both the recent past and the far-flung history of the world someone had an idea very similar to yours. You don’t have to think of a new idea, you need to know why it didn’t work when others tried it before you. What’s different now in terms of technology and resources? How will you execute differently?
What other ideas and concepts complement the idea you want to put into action? If your idea is peanut butter, you want to uncover the jelly. Many time ideas are made greater by the sum of their parts.
What kind of resources will be needed to put this idea into action? Not just in monetary terms, but also in terms of physical effort, emotional strain and stress, and personal reputation (but also in monetary terms).
Are they on the Wanted List?
Have you run any experiments to see if there is a need or want for your idea? Have you tried a Kickstarter or other crowdsourced funding to gauge interest and support? Have you attempted a pre-sale of your idea? Did you create and sell an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) version of your idea? Trusting your gut and intuition will only get you so far. To paraphrase my friend Dan “The Sales Energizer” Jourdan: investing tons of money and time on projects people don’t want may leave you broke and your basement full of products nobody wants to buy.
Taking the time to investigate ideas prior to diving in with both feet will provide you with a more realistic idea of what will be involved in successfully executing your concept.
Your investigation might uncover only positive things, and you can advance without encountering too many hurdles. Or, your investigation may uncover all kinds of warning signs that may lead you to choose another idea to implement (something with fewer obstacles to success).
On the other hand, perhaps you’ll discover all sorts of risk but choose to move forward anyway, deciding the reward is worth the risk. At least you make the choice knowing the facts and being better prepared for the potential battles ahead.
And being prepared means you will increase your chances for success.