“Everything begins with an idea.” Right?
Uhhmmm… not really.
Instead, everything begins with a problem. Something happens (or doesn’t happen) that highlights a problem that either already exists or could exist. And more importantly, the need for a solution is born.
The bigger or more widespread the problem, the more pressing an answer to that problem is, as well as the scope of potential recognition for being the one to solve that problem—and solve it better than anyone else.
Thus, it is for-sure-accurate to say all solutions DO begin with ideas. In fact, ideas cannot ever really even begin to exist without being birthed in response to a problem or gap the idea will fill.
Where massive success comes – where a good idea becomes great – is when it meets five simple criteria:
- It is the first solution to a problem or gap (it is “innovative”)
- It is the first WORKING solution to a problem or gap (it is “innovative and effective”)
- It is the most affordable, comparable, option for its market (it is “innovative, effective and affordable”)
- It consistently examines its effectiveness and seeks to improve (it is “innovative, effective, affordable and adaptive”)
- It is powerful enough to create a loyal following that naturally wants to – and does – share the idea with others (it is “innovative, effective, affordable, adaptive and influential”)
ONE – It is innovative…
An innovative idea challenges the status quo and looks at solving problems and filling needs from an out-of-the-box perspective or new angle. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s 100% new or unique per se but should definitely have a new or unique “twist.” It makes someone stop and say, “Yeah… they get it. They understand what I need, and they’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s a bonus if the idea solves not only the problem the end user knew they had but others they didn’t yet know they had but recognize your idea addresses intuitively.
TWO – It’s innovative and effective…
An idea that’s innovative but ineffective is as akin to a model car that looks fantastic on the outside but either has a go-kart engine on the inside – or none at all. At best it’s deceptive and won’t produce the results it promises. At worst, it’s utterly worthless. Ideas that work aren’t just innovative, and they also don’t expect innovation to mask faulty or failed performance. On the other hand, those that meet the mark on both, stand to hit a massive homerun.
THREE – It’s innovative, effective and affordable…
It’s NOT a solution if those who truly want and need it can’t afford it. Instead it’s just another good idea that won’t ever be great.
FOUR – It’s innovative, effective, affordable, and adaptive…
Good ideas don’t ever stop trying to be good – and then better – and then the best solution that consistently fill it’s intended gap consistently, effectively and efficiently. Good ideas stay out ahead of the competition and are delivering more while the copycats are just getting started. And a good idea never stops asking customers how it can serve their needs in greater, more expansive, ways.
FIVE – It’s innovative, effective, affordable, adaptive and influential…
Even great ideas can have a lifecycle. If they don’t spread beyond their initial base, saturation happens and it either must adapt and mutate to find new and additional needs to meet OR it must find new groups that need what it offers. This rarely happens without massive customer buy-in and loyalty. Your current customers must have such a powerful experience with your idea that they HAVE to share it with others. Then, those others HAVE to want to share it with even more others. And so on… This is how you begin to build your tribe and if your idea cannot spark this level of influence, it will eventually run its course and peter out.
Ideas… everyone has them. Many people have good ones. Some people have great ones. A few have FAB ones that make a huge impact in a market that yearns and clamors for what it offers or the specific need it fulfills.
It’s not exactly simple to birth – and then power – an idea to such a tremendous magnitude. But it’s not rocket science either if you keep in mind the five features discussed. Of course, a little luck and working your ass off doesn’t hurt your chances of success either.
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Kim Brooks serves as the Chief Marketing Officer for TopoVS (Topo Mixed Media – a division of MAGA Design) & Editor-In-Chief for Komo2o.com (also a TopoMM company). In these roles, I participate in all corporate-level strategy and direct marketing efforts internally, as well as spearhead the same for our amazing clients – SMBs to large, multi-tiered companies and organizations.