How do you know if you have created a desirable product or not?

By Chesney Bradshaw

A successful inventor, Stephen Key, says that he started his career in product development selling his handmade goods at art shows and state fairs where he quickly discovered the importance of creating a desirable product. “Let’s face it: When the rent is due and you are hungry, if the product used to spent several hours making doesn’t sell, you quickly move onto something else.”

This is an important point, isn’t it for? If you make something that very few or almost no one wants, then what’s the point? But how do you get to that stage where you are making products that people want? Continue reading “How do you know if you have created a desirable product or not?”

How playing games can produce new business ideas


All the attention that generating new business ideas gets in the media and online gives the wrong impression. It’s hardly ever mentioned that original ideas often don’t pay. Why is this? It’s because new business ideas are expensive to develop, take long to implement are hard to markets and require starting a new business.

What then is the alternative?

Continue reading “How playing games can produce new business ideas”

Is this one thing holding you back from success?

Artist – Rayne Bradshaw

Let’s get down to basics. If you haven’t been able to start something of your own, create your own asset for for generating income, then you most likely haven’t conquered the one thing that stands in your way: fear of failure.

Felix Dennis, one of Britain’s wealthiest self-made entrepreneurs, said: “After a lifetime of making money and observing better men and women than I fall by the wayside, I am convinced that fear of failing in the eyes of the world is the single biggest impediment to amassing wealth.” Continue reading “Is this one thing holding you back from success?”

7 points to spot gaps in a market

A Cornwall surfer came up with an idea to make a surf helmet, which he initially used himself. He began to look for gaps in the market and realised that he should approach the Royal National Lifeboat Institute. He eventually ended up making 10 different versions of helmets for the Sea Rescue Institute with add-ons such as cameras, tortures and communication equipment. The entrepreneur has also designed and developed a helmet for watercraft racing. Continue reading “7 points to spot gaps in a market”

Are your business skills, knowledge and understanding of the opportunities of technology past their sell-by date?

The other day my son sent me a link to an article from a UK publication pointing out how a woman just over 20 had acquired a £1 million home. She had achieved such rapid wealth through her prowess on the Internet and video sphere. If you don’t know about vlogs – video blogs – you wouldn’t have a clue how she did it. Would you know how she developed her business model?

It’s not only in the Internet marketing world where things are rapidly changing. I see people struggling with new technology, not understanding what the hang it’s about. Some small start-up business models are woefully out of date. New products are launched using old models that are doomed for failure while the start-up founder could have got up to date with lean thinking and know how to test market on a small scale before coughing up vast sums and depleting valuable financial resources on product development and marketing.

How do you stay up-to-date?

I think it all starts with having a blank slate. Why do I encourage blank-slate thinking? The reason is because we carry baggage with us. We have certain beliefs that we leave unchallenged. By putting your beliefs and attitudes to one side you can look with an open mind. Another thing is to become curious – instead of just marvelling at what others are doing you need to ask yourself: how did they do that? The answer will send you on an exploration journey and increase your learning.

You might want to also talk to younger entrepreneurs. Find out what the challenges are and how they are overcoming them. What are they doing different in today’s marketplace? How are they handling issues such as low-cost, no-cost marketing? What business models are they using? I heard the other day from an entrepreneur and business adviser about nine different subscription models for gaining additional revenue.

Another thing is to broaden your information sources. Thanks to the Internet this is much more possible and costs less than a few years ago. The Internet, despite some criticising it for its inaccuracy and bias, it provides much up-to-date information. Subscribe to newsletters, email lists, expert business advisers, pod , Twitter feeds and other social media.

Yes, look the newspapers but remember that over the past decade or so newspapers have become mainly vehicles for advertisers.

Much of the information that you get from them comes from press releases tarted up by journalists who do not investigate the facts.

They also don’t put the news into context so that you know what you are reading is important or not.

Even so-called business newspapers have deteriorated, becoming thin and filled with opinions and space that is clearly earmarked and allocated to advertisers and their press agents.

If you want to learn more about how to exploit information sources in the vast ocean of information that now exists on the Internet and use it to come up with a new business idea or two to improve your small business, then subscribe and find out more.

The number 1 way to find new business ideas

On Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn, Pretoria, visiting a seafood restaurant that provides wonderful service and food to customers — dare I say far better than similar coastal establishments.

Don’t just come up with an idea that you think is a promising business opportunity; look for a problem that needs solving and set to work solving it

It is easier to look for a solution to a problem for a source of a new business idea than it is to set wracking your brain and forcing artificial ideas. You are likely to be more successful with your start-up if the idea is based in a rock-solid problem that someone or yourself is experiencing.

Let me demonstrate this to you. Continue reading “The number 1 way to find new business ideas”

Will it fly? How do you know if your new business idea has been formed under the wrong assumptions… before you take the leap

Are you ready for the Thanksgiving turkey?

In Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book The Black Swan, he has the example of the Thanksgiving turkey that leads a comfortable life for about 999 days, eating and ranging around a small patch of grass. The turkey becomes comfortable and assumes this cycle of eat-relax-sleep will continue on indefinitely. But on the thousandth day, Taleb’s Thanksgiving turkey finds his head on the chopping block and the good times come to an abrupt end. Continue reading “Will it fly? How do you know if your new business idea has been formed under the wrong assumptions… before you take the leap”

Original ideas — do you think they have any legs?


We went by train to Port Elizabeth in April 2017. Almost all the railway stations were in the same condition as this one at Koppies. But where has the maintenance budget monies gone? New ideas are needed to encourage local and foreign tourism.

An Internet marketer was saying on his podcast that the original business ideas don’t work. A start-up just doesn’t have the deep pockets to advertise an original product or service. Far better, he said, is to copy something that is already working.

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Is it really as simple as this? Well, for one thing if you see what is already available on the market and is being advertised, there is a good chance that the product or service has found a target markets and is bringing in revenue for the start-up or small business. The veteran Internet marketer’s advice was to go for niche markets that are already proving themselves. The trick is to check out the product or service, find its holes, flaws and shortcomings and then to produce something better. Continue reading “Original ideas — do you think they have any legs?”

Why some start-up ideas will leave egg on your face

Copyright Tim Trad. Photo courtesy of Unsplash

You eat a delicious meal that tastes so good that you want to prepare it yourself. But how do you go about replicating the success of that dish you’ve tasted? How are you going to do it?

A few months back I tasted delicious Dahl made by a local curry restaurant. I told the owner, a young man who had come out of the food catering business for an airline in the UK, that I enjoyed his Dahl. “No problem,” he said. “I’ll give you the recipe.” Now, Dahl is not something that you can buy in supermarkets except in tins. But canned Dahl tastes awful and it’s best to stay far away from it. Continue reading “Why some start-up ideas will leave egg on your face”

How many business formats do you know that remain a sure thing like snoek kop sop?

Long  past the glory days of  100-a-man snoek in False Bay.  Copyright 2016 Chesney Bradshaw
Long past the glory days of 100-a-man snoek in False Bay. Copyright 2016 Chesney Bradshaw

We drove out during the festive season to Millers Point to buy fresh Snoek from the professional ski boat fishermen at the Rumbly Bay slipway.

The Snoek was in very good condition and was a large one with a humongous head. I couldn’t throw the head away because it had so much potential to make tasty Snoek head soup. This delicacy was a staple in our household growing up. Continue reading “How many business formats do you know that remain a sure thing like snoek kop sop?”