Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Is your product idea good? Top 3 Ways to Know for Sure!

Ever had a product idea and wondered if it was any good?  Whether you are an engineer, an MBA, or a stay-at-home mom, these 5 tips will help you answer definitively whether your idea is good... or not!

Tip #1: 
What is your goal?  Do you want to build it for yourself or friends or sell it as an idea?  Do you want to start a full business or just make some for side-money?

Depending on your answer, good has different meanings... And tip #1 is essential to answer before you go any further.

Three possible answers make your product idea good:
Sell the idea!   Stop.  Nobody buys ideas.
Start a real business.  Yep, step 2.
Make some for side-income?   Okay, but tread carefully to step 2.

If this is a lark, stop now and proceed to hobby lobby!

Tip #2:  
Who cares?

Really, is there anyone who cares about your idea?  Does it solve someone's problem or is otherwise desirable by some specific kind of customer?

If not, stop.   Someone, some specific demographic, the smaller the better, must care, have the problem, or otherwise desire the product, or else, stop.

Tip #3:
Can you sell one and for how much?

I don't mean build one then sell one.. I mean sell one!

The best way to know if your product idea is good, and the TOP TIP to know for sure if your idea is good is to PRE-SELL it!

Literally, setup a 2 page website where page 1 introduces the product, page 2 accepts a pre-order.  If you can get a few pre-orders, go ahead a build *a few*...
You could also do this with Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but those services expect bigger ideas and a real budget for video/marketing/etc.  Instead take the money you make on the first few orders to build some.... then build a few more... once you've sold 100, go ahead, do your kickstarter!

Good luck!

Go out and SELL!  Sales is the only way to know if your product ideas is good or not.

Now, back to my Smart Watch idea....

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Creation of Awesome is Blocked

Do not let your big dream and desire to create awesome BLOCK you from taking a tiny step towards it.

Ship often

Friday, January 30, 2015

CES 2015 Marketing Fails (World's Best!)

I greatly enjoyed CES 2015... Perhaps most of all, the startup corridore (some of which was sponsored by indiegogo.com ).  However startups, big and small, seemed to fail at several key marketing elements.  Here are some of my favorite marketing fails from CES 2015.

1.) Worlds First:   Several startups made this claim proudly on banners, some of which not more than 100 feet from a similar product, also the worlds first.

Why a marketing fail?  Not what you think... Its not the claim itself that fails (maybe its true, maybe not). The problem is WHO CARES!  Marketers must train themselves to think from the customer point of view....   And tell them the benefit of your product, from their perspective, not a useless claim!

2.). World's "whatever" (smartest, best, smallest, whatever).

Why a marketing fail?   This one is the reason you think...  How can you verify this claim?  Unless it is self-evident, you cannot back it up.   And anyways, its not from the customers perspective... so again, who cares!

  Can you find the claim?

3.) No Idea What You Do...   Too much clutter!

Why a marketing fail?  This is the most common problem.   I just want to scan your booth and see what you do or make or your product... If I cant figure that out in 5 secs, i am gone.
   What is this selling exactly?

4.) No Goal! No point to even be there!

Why a marketing fail?   If you don't have a "MEASURABLE GOAL" how can you know if you achieved it (or anything).  I'm not picking on my UT friends, but I'm not sure what it is they are trying to do... maybe looking for partners?  How will they know how many they met?  If I go to a show like this, I would have a specific goal and agenda, and a way to measure it.  Give-aways/raffles are a great way to do this.

What fails did you see at CES this year?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

If you build it, they will come. Bad advice? Or maybe good!

The old adage that "if you build it, they will come" is usually considered very bad marketing advice.  In recent times, however, I actually think it has become Good advice, especially if reworded just slightly...

"If you build it, they MIGHT come" is probably some of the best marketing advice I can give.

In this world if lean startup, minimum viable product (MVP) and bootstrapping entrepreneurship, one of the most important things to do is to"ship it" and see if customers come and like it, and iterate quickly based on that feedback.

At Key Ingredient we recently formalized these concepts and declared ourselves an "Agile Company".

What will you ship this year?

My thought?   See photo I took at CES 2015 below!