It is often said that everybody has a good idea for a business in them ‘ yet most people don’t take steps to follow their ideas, and even before the pandemic hit, 60% of new initiatives would go bust within 3 years. So how do you spot the non-starters, before wasting time and money on them?
In her new book, author Julia Shalet draws upon years of experience of leading innovation projects to provide a straight-forward way to test, refine and validate your ideas and work out whether they are worth investing time, energy and money.
The Really Good Idea Test offers seven practical steps to test an idea and find out if it really is worth pursuing. It might be an idea for a new business launch, a development to an existing product or even a major life decision, but the simple process will help you understand what people really want and spot potential downfalls before you commit (or waste) time and resources on them.
With common pitfalls to avoid and top tips signalled throughout, this test is hands-on and is an early checkpoint to see if your idea is good or not. By the end of the test, you will be able to move forward with confidence, making decisions based on evidence of what people want and need, rather than incorrect assumptions. The best thing about this test is that you can do it on your own, as soon as you have an idea, without relying on anyone else. You can carry it out in stealth mode before you talk to any colleagues or collaborators about it. It’s not a fully blown large-scale piece of market research that can cost thousands. It’s a self-contained piece of early investigation so that you can say with confidence you have a really good idea.
Julia Shalet, also known as Product Doctor, has developed The Really Good Idea Test through 20+ years of working on award-winning propositions, from new mobile products and services to urban markets and online education services. The book takes you on a journey through her proven process, starting with writing a hypothesis, identifying risks and testing your idea with face-to-face research. She provides templates with helpful advice on how to complete them. Finally, the journey ends with a clear decision to either pursue the idea or stop ‘ but crucially, she emphasises that we mustn’t be afraid to stop, learn from our failures quickly and move on.
The Really Good Idea Test is for all innovators ‘ from start-up concepts to big corporate product ideas, from community-based projects to those with international revenue streams, for senior execs through to people with no innovation experience. This book shows that there is no excuse to sit on your ideas and wait for someone else to do it instead! There’s no doubt we’re going to need some really good business ideas to adapt and navigate our way through the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn, so this book seems to have been published at just the right time.
The Really Good Idea Test is out now, published by Pearson, £16.99.