Which Idea Has Merit?

by Jay Deragon on 02/17/2014

making-ideas-happenMany entrepreneurs believe their ideas will attract capital to build a business around the idea.  They spend enormous amounts of energy promoting their idea without validating it with evidence that the idea has merit.  Without merit an idea will never evolve into a sustainable business.

The word merit means the quality of being particularly good or worthy, so as to deserve attention, support, praise or reward.  An idea that has merit gains praise and rewards because it can be substantiated by evidence that it meets an unmet market need, creates value for the end-user and supported by a team that can turn the idea into a scalable and profitable business.  Ever wonder how many entrepreneurial business ideas have merit? The National Venture Capitalists Association says 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs will fail because their ideas have no merit.

Do Your Homework

As a teenager I used to complain about having to do homework because I wanted to spend time doing things with my friends.  So I hurried through the homework just to get it out-of-the-way.  My mom would say “Doing your homework is more about learning to study than it is about doing things just to get them out-of-the-way”.  Once I understood what my mother was trying to teach me learning became my life long journey.  Study to show thyself approved means do your homework before you try to  make an idea work.

Entrepreneurs have a lot of ideas but many don’t know how to study the idea to see if it will work. No idea will work unless it solves a problem for the end-user, the customer.  Caroline Daniels, a lecturer on entrepreneurship at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass said: “First you fall in love with your concept, but then you have to get over that and fall in love with your customer.  You have to observe what your customers are doing and then build your product around that.”

If you want people to invest in your idea consider taking steps to validate it before diving in too deep. You may find that your assumptions aren’t quite on the mark, and the intelligence you gather could help you avoid costly mistakes or lead you to adjust the idea so it is closer to the needs of the customer.

The merit of your idea is only substantiated when the customer needs it.

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