The Viable Idea

Instant success or blood, sweat and tears? Everyone “gets it” or just says nice things? Really simple, or devil in the detail?

Jon Fails: Lottery Tickets

Understanding the magic behind whether a project will be a success or not is like predicting the lottery numbers – but looking at past mistakes could help identify some concepts to help map the course, couldn’t they?

Having recently reviewed the projects I have started over the last few years, I am thoroughly depressed! I’m a try, fail, try again kinda person. (see Fail Quickly) Keeping busy is the key to happiness… When you stop and look at how many times and just how much effort you have invested in content, product ideas and more than have never had any impact on this world – it can be time to buy more Whisky.

Lesson: Clear on “What is success?”

In order to measure success, you need to know what success is. Plotting the quickest, straightest route from start to proving success becomes the roadmap. (With a bit of playing in-between)

Far too often my initial definition of success gets blurred, changed or forgotten. Often making it hard to bring back on track.

In other cases, it gets to the clear result that it’s not going to be successful all too quickly – before I’ve really had fun playing with colours, patterns or some other frill – I have to let go of a project that’s just not going to have an impact.

Lesson: Once proven, detail matters

After getting to point of proving viability and potential success of a project, getting the right things right is hard: Not least cos it’s not always clear what are the right things.

Details can matter – as consumers are smart – design, brand, quality, finishing touches and more can make the difference of success, yet can so easily become a black hole of time and energy.

Lesson: Start with real research

I am so keen for a project to live that I am actually scared of doing real research. If my precious, incredible idea is actually not new I will get hurt.

It’s so much better than I’m hurt up front, that invest time in something that already exists or isn’t a real problem for anyone but me!

Facing up to the competition, looking as a consumer would at the problem, rather than being in love with the idea, is where I need to start and not end!

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