Must-have idea evaluation tool locked away safely in vault

softwareboxrightHow do you know if your new business idea is viable and has value to you and your prospective customers?

Entrepreneurs come to me with their business ideas which they think are brilliant and it seems that they want confirmation or assurance that their idea will fly in the marketplace. Unfortunately, this is what I can’t do. I am not able to evaluate the merits of a new business idea off the cuff.

A new business idea has to jump through a number of hoops before one can safely say that it is viable and that it will be profitable. Even in instances where the idea looks promising, there is no guarantee that it will be. No one can predict whether a business idea will succeed because the marketplace is just too dynamic and ever-changing. Continue reading “Must-have idea evaluation tool locked away safely in vault”

What can we learn from Chinese innovation?

Huawei_Ascend_Y300At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Huawei showed off innovative new smartphone platforms that it has designed in-house.

Smart phone company Xiaomi, compared to Apple for its marketing strategy and loyal following, is expected to sell more than 15 million phones this year, reports McKinsey & Company.

Chinese scientists have built the world’s fastest supercomputer, capable of performing 33.86 quadrillion operations per second, surpassing the US Titan supercomputer. The Tianhe-2, or Milkyway 2, will benefit Chinese sciences and industries and provide sound infrastructure for the growing global demands of big data processing.

If you ask people on the street what they think of Chinese products, they might refer to what they know and experience. In South Africa that could be clothing and textiles where China has packed a powerful punch to the local overpriced products with their Byzantine cost structures.

Prices side, most people would raise the issue of quality of Chinese manufactured products. Quality has been poor in many instances but these days quality is good enough. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t have the growth in Chinese supermalls in the country.

In the 1970s the Japanese manufactured low quality products that sometimes was fare for jokes. But that all changed in the 1980s when the Japanese moved up the quality ladder. Today many Japanese products are so well made that you are lucky if you are able to afford them.

I’m not saying the Chinese manufacturers will produce high-quality on a huge scale overnight. My point is that Chinese manufacturers are moving into product categories with higher quality requirements and are seeing opportunities for product innovation. This will lead to superior performance and quality in “Made in China” products.

How long will it take is anybody’s guess. But the Chinese model for innovation is showing more willingness to go directly from development to manufacturing and shipping products. This would be based on “already-known” or “highly anticipated” customer orders, says McKinsey.

The traditional innovation process is: create, test, refine, develop, produce, market and sell. Going straight to development has the advantage of speed but can result in quality problems, waste in the development process and misjudging demand.

Whatever process you follow, the long route or the short route, knowing the viability and value of your new product idea is critical. “The One-Page New Business Idea Accelerator Evaluation Tool”, free for a limited time only, will help you decide whether you have a dud or a winner in your hands.

Send my free idea evaluation tool now

* indicates required

Email Format



Enhanced by Zemanta

New sound ideas for your car stacking up to replace old technologies

A cassete tape icon
Remember cassette tapes? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other evening I came across a cassette tape included in a literary magazine on the shelf at a city book store. The cassette tape and magazine had a nostalgic, retro feel to it. Who still has cassette players to listen to a tape like this I thought?

Cassette tape players have vanished from car sound systems. I probably have one of the only cars left with a working cassette player – only because I’ve had my car for nearly 10 years, trying to avoid a capital purchase in this economy and not take on five years of new debt.

I know only one person who still uses an old tape recorder and that’s a vetran business journalist. He records all his telephone and face-to-face interviews on his tape recorder. The only problem is that he battles to find blank cassette tapes these days. He has to reuse the old ones he’s got.

Now car manufacturers are talking about removing the compact disc player from their cars. CD players are being replaced with thumb drives, iPods and could also make way for streaming technologies. Cadillac, the Tesla Model S and the Smart Car have already ditched the CD slot. CD slots are also moving away from the dash to the centre console level. Studies show a drop off in CD listening while driving.

I heard an Internet marketer talking the other day about the opportunities in the new Ford for marketing and content programming. Audio content can be downloaded direct from the Ford site and played in the car. When you are talking about 2 million cars, the listening audience is bigger than most radio stations.

In a way that’s happening right now. With radio stations getting their content and audience wrong for the most part, it makes sense to download and play your own selection in your car.

I will never here musicians like John Mayall, Johnny Winter, John Fogerty or old stuff like Osibisa or really good music like Robert Johnson on any radio station, ever. That’s why I play my music in my car through my BlackBerry (another piece of technology set to go the way of the Palm because of its abysmal lack of features and performance). Podcasts from free downloads keep me far happier than the “chewing gum” of the mind content from radio hacks.

If so much technology change is happening just on the dashboard of your car, think what other changes are occurring around you where there could be opportunities for you.

If you need a tool to tell if your new business idea has legs, fill in your details below. Do it immediately before it is gone. It’s free. But to avoid disappointment, I urge you to act immediately. Hurry! This is a first-come-first served offer.

Send my free idea evaluation tool now

* indicates required

Email Format

Enhanced by Zemanta

No short cuts to commercialising a new idea – but this tool shows you the way

English: Ministry of Innovation and ICT Logo
Innovation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Governments struggling to encourage jobs look to small- and medium-size businesses to be job creators in their countries. But little or absolutely nothing is done. Some may have small business agencies run by – yes, you guessed it – government officials who have never started a business in their lives. Sharp operators sell governments business incubator snake oil and fill their bank accounts with millions for “training” entrepreneurs.

None of this sham boosts small business numbers to a level where sizeable job creation takes place. What really is needed is an understanding of who is motivated enough to take their own business ideas and transform them into products and services. Continue reading “No short cuts to commercialising a new idea – but this tool shows you the way”

How do I know if my idea is viable?

softwareboxrightThe owner of a small and innovative business came to me with a new business idea. He wanted to know whether it would stand up in his market. Instead of spending hours discussing his brilliant new idea I gave him a tool that he could use to assess the commercial potential of his idea. Since then he has done well with the new media service he developed and introduced.

A second entrepreneur who had success with an online business called me to discuss an idea for a new business on the Internet. Rather than debate the various strengths and weaknesses of his idea, I emailed him a tool to evaluate his idea. A few days later he called to say that he didn’t believe his new business idea in the health field was viable. He decided to move on and come up with a new business idea.

What was it about this new business idea evaluation tool that was able to help these and other entrepreneurs make up their minds? Continue reading “How do I know if my idea is viable?”

Turning an idea into a product can be risky if you don’t know what you are doing

flatecover 3The new product development process is something that even the very largest of companies often don’t get right. They can afford to lose money especially in the early stages because they are taking bets on various products and services.

For a start-up or small business which wants to develop a new product or service a similar complex process will be faced. If it’s something simple that you are developing such as scented candles or low-sugar jam, you’ll have a relatively easy product development process ahead of you. But if it’s something that is more complex such as a special furniture items, software or food products for grocery stores, you will need to follow a more formal process for product development. Continue reading “Turning an idea into a product can be risky if you don’t know what you are doing”

Give magical power to your business idea with this tool

binderlayingopenHow fortunate was King Arthur to process the legendary Excalibur sword attributed with magical powers to perform his gallant and noble work.

Arthur obtained the throne by pulling the sword from a stone, one legend goes. In another version, Arthur was given the Excalibur by the Lady of the Lake.

The Excalibur was no ordinary sword. In one tale the sword is said to have a design of two chimeras on the golden hilt. When the sword was unsheathed what was seen from the mouths of the two chimeras was “like two flames of fire, so dreadful that it was not easy for anyone to look at”.

Many an entrepreneur would gladly give a king’s ransom for a tool that could give their new business ideas magical powers in the marketplace. Continue reading “Give magical power to your business idea with this tool”

Put your business idea to the one-page test before you invest

paperbackstackSome so-called business consultants put the following argument forward as a foolproof way to produce a product or service for market:

Research your chosen marketing in depth until you find out what potential customers needs are before you come up with a product or service. When you know there is a specific need, you come up with ideas for potential products and services.

Yet most entrepreneurs I’ve dealt with have come up with an idea for a product or service before they have identified a specific need in the market. However, even this approach doesn’t necessarily mean that the original spark or trigger for the idea didn’t originate in the market because of a need, want or desire. Continue reading “Put your business idea to the one-page test before you invest”