When starting a new business venture, one of the first things most of us do is fail to break down the matter at hand. What I mean is, we are all so excited about our revolutionary new idea, that we fail to pick it apart and break it down to its core. Most people have good ideas from time to time, some people have great ideas from time to time, and a select few have what others would refer to as genius (these people already assume their ideas are genius 😉 ). Its those good and great ideas that make up most businesses in America and the world, these ideas are what the “fortune 5 million” are made of (that term is borrowed from 37signals).The issue I’d like to cover today is not what you would normally think of when discussing new businesses, no we aren’t talking about how to write an effective business plan (you can read guy kawasaki‘s books or blog for that), what I’d like to cover is how to make your good ideas into great ones.The first step in your idea evolution is going to require either a pen and paper or a computer. What I want you to do is write down your idea. Now if you are on your computer, email it to yourself. Trust me. You are probably wondering wtf I am talking about, well let me tell you, I’ve had my fair share of ideas, and this is how the filtration process works. Ok now walk away from your desk, couch, or wherever you wrote this down, go outside, and do something COMPLETELY unrelated. Usually I take my dog for a walk, this gives me fresh air, and the time to mull over the idea. Normally my mind starts racing from idea to idea to idea, and that is all fine, but what this really does is gives me a brainstorming session where I am likely to only remember the best ideas (remember you are removing yourself from the vacuum that is your computer).Now that you are back at your workspace, read your idea outloud to yourself. This works pretty well despite your inherently not thinking it would. Now I want you to ask yourself the following questions (and write down your answers):

  • Do I need this product/service?
  • Do I have the background to create this service?
    • If not, do I think I could find the right people to do so?
  • How much will I charge for this product/service?
    • If it is free, then how will I pay for this?
  • Who is doing this already? (google is your friend here, even if they are your competitor, they will help you find out who else does it, and how they do it)
  • Who will want this product/service? (target market, etc.)

Ok so those are basic questions you have probably heard alot, but you would be amazed at how many people fail to run this gamot of tests on an idea, despite it taking only a few minutes.As part of my feeling generous and whatnot, I think we should do an experiment, whoever sends in a good idea to brian [at] webimpresario.com will get it posted and dissected and have suggestions posted here for everyone to discuss.