I can’t even tell you the number of times someone has walked through the door with the next “big idea”, the next “billion dollar exit”, and have not even taken the time to Google their product. Seriously, it takes 10 minutes to go to Google, Google Play or iTunes, and you can even research via the comfort of your couch on your mobile device! Take the time and find out what’s out there in the space. Even if it’s already out there, it doesn’t mean your product is a bad idea, but often times it’s validation that the product is in demand. We can learn a lot from what people have done prior to your invention or version of said product. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather find out what works and what doesn’t before I start, so that I save myself time and energy by avoiding potentially costly mistakes or ideas that have failed miserably.
The most wearisome thing is when somebody takes the time to schedule a meeting to come in to talk about their product, and they haven’t done one stitch of research. When someone sits there and has us sign a nondisclosure and goes through hours of sitting in a meeting, it can be disheartening when we find in only 2 minutes of research that there are competing products in the space that they are completely unaware of. We will find the competition does not only what they do, but does 10 times more stuff, and when budget is already a concern when building the minimum viable product, it doesn’t go well.
Remember to also take the time to research the startup communities. In any market where there is a high concentration of startups happening, it is a worthwhile venture to drill in a couple of layers to see if someone is in this market and building your product or something similar. I often recommend to people who have an idea already being built or has been built is not to abandon the idea entirely.
Instead, try contacting the individuals who have built the idea before. You obviously bring a lot to the table, your enthusiasm, your entrepreneurship, possibly your good looks, and potentially funding that these other groups could utilize to expand the product you have already fallen in love with. You may not own 100 percent of it, but joining a successful team or semi-successful team, and bringing your own skill set to the table could ultimately be getting you the same results you were seeking before, which is a nice billion dollar exit.
So take your time and do your research (it doesn’t have to be a ton, just 20 to 30 minutes) before you contact anyone to build your product. We will all be a lot happier.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR| GEOFFREY RADCLIFFE
Have a question, a startup idea, a dream? Email Geoff at Geoff@RasterMedia.com