It can be extremely frustrating when your ideas can't seem to secure support or backing. Why? Is it the idea or is it you?
In this weeks show, I share some of my personal lessons learned along with the collection of frustrations and lessons learned from my mentoring and coaching clients on the challenges of securing backing for an idea.
8 Reasons Why Your Ideas Don't Get Backed
Your idea is too small
- If its small/simple, then just do it. You have permission.
- Take your idea a “PLUS IT”
Question: What would 10x your idea look like?
Your pitch for the idea is underwhelming
- Do not assume that others “should just get it”
- Tell a story (3 act play)
Question: How could you create an experience (no PowerPoint) to show & tell your ideas?
You haven’t thought through all of the questions that others will ask you
- What is the hardest/toughest question someone could ask about your idea? Answer it
- Proof that you’ve thought long and hard about the idea is your preparation for the questions you will get asked
- Create and update a FAQ
Question: What is the hardest/toughest question you will asked about your ideas? Answer it ..
It's just an idea
- How much time have you really spent in deliberate thinking about the idea?
- If its less a few 100 hours, then you haven’t made an investment into the idea
Question: Why is your idea so great? Ask “why” 5 times?
You haven’t thought about the resources you need
- What time, people and funding will you need?
- How did you come up with that projection?
- What’s the risk that you’ve missed on this estimate?
- How will limit the downside risk while not being overly conservative?
Question: What resources will you need? What are the options to execute while limiting risk/exposure?
You’ve ignored or denied that there is real competition to your idea
- Every idea has competition, even if its the customer “not” doing today
- For each competition ask yourself — Who are they? Why are the competition? What is the switch barrier? What is the switching cost?
- Everything has switching cost.
- In technology/consumer electronics, the “new thing” needs be 10x better, 10x fast and/or 10x cheaper to get over switching costs (e.g. Dvorak versus qwerty keyboard example)
Question: Who is your conception and why are you unique/different?
The impact is underwhelming and/or uninteresting
- With limited resources, and good supply of ideas, teams should be working on ideas with the biggest impact
- You are competing for a limited set of resources
Question:Why should someone back your idea over another?
You haven’t convinced me their others who want/need your idea
- What validation have you done to prove that the idea solves a need/want of a customer
- Get up — and go talk to prospects and validate your idea
- The “starbucks” approach (gorilla validation)
- Video tape — show it to the person who need to convince ..
Question: How could you show, in your prospects words, why your idea is needed in the marketplace?
Additional Innovation Resources:
- Managing the Fuzzy Front End Of The Innovation Funnel S12 Ep31
- The Insider’s Guide to Innovation by M&A S12 Ep36
- Sample PDF example of an innovation funnel