How To Evaluate Business Ideas

First off, I’d just like to mention that ideas are worthless.  Anyone can have an idea – it doesn’t mean a thing.  Execution of the idea is king.

If I went to Elon Musk and gave him a rubbish idea, I can guarantee that he would make it into a million (if not a billion!) dollar business.

If I went to someone who can’t execute and gave him/her the best idea in the world I can guarantee that he/she would not be able to make it into a successful business.

Ideas are nothing!  Execution is king!

Having said this, there are a few basic things you should take into consideration and there’s one particularly important concept that you should keep in mind.

A good idea looks like a bad idea, but is actually a good idea. 

A good idea that is a good idea is an inherently bad idea because it means everyone has already thought of it and is executing it.  For example AI is a an obviously good idea as well as VR.  However, you’ve got Google and Facebook already executing these ideas.  Do you really think you have a chance in beating their rock star genius programmers?

A good idea that looks like a bad idea is what you should be aiming for.  AirBnb is the classic example.  No one thought anyone would be willing to pay to use this service.  Because of this they had no competition and now dominate the market.

You know when you have an idea like this because people will tell you your insane, but because of your unique (and correct) insight you know that you are actually right.  You also don’t need to worry about competition as no one would be crazy enough to steal your bad idea and invest their savings and time into it.

But remember!  Ideas are worthless without execution!


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