John and his 3 buddies were enthusastic! They had this great idea that could make them millions. It started from a crazy culinary experiment in John's kitchen. It was nearing Christmas time, and John had been thinking about what dessert to make for the Christmas party. He looked through his fridge, and found a packet of Agar-Agar (a type of jelly powder), Oreo cookies, and a can of preserved mixed fruits. And then he saw the food blender. Exercising his creative juice, he combined the Oreos, the mixed fruits, and jelly powder into the blender to make: Fruity Oreo Agar-Agar Jelly!
And now John was taking it a step further. He dreamt of setting up a business selling custom made Agar-Agar birthday cakes. The cakes would be shaped from big blocks of Agar-Agar jelly, upon which laser cutters could carve any design of the customers fancy. John imagined Superman cakes, Iron Man cakes...any kind of Marvel superhero!
After 2 months of hard work on the business proposal, John and his buddies felt a sense of accomplishment as they submitted the document to the school's entreprenuership office.
**'This is it! We're going to make our millions in no time!'**
1 week later, the school returned the graded proposal. The grades read '26/50'. And the dream died right there.
Crazy ideas are dangerous if you want to do business.
Some of you may be able to relate to the story of John and his crazy idea. That John in the story was me. And the lesson, if any, I learnt was this: crazy ideas are dangerous if you want to do business.
Yeah, it sounds really cool, and you might be able to raise $1 million in VC funding from your 5 year old brother with that earth-shaking,history making idea to harvest and sell carbon-dioxide rich soil from Mars. Or to make Agar-Agar birthday cakes and sell them. But face this: No one is going to pay you for those ideas, because no one needs them! Rather, the crazy business ideas that will make you money must solve real problems that real people face.
Crazy Idea +* Doesn't* solve a problem=Pipe Dream
Good Idea + Solves a real problem= $$$
As an example, consider the humble telephone. Today, the phone has evolved into the sophisicated Samsungs and iPhones that we all know. But when telephones first came out, they solved a real human pain: The need to communicate with one another instantly without having to rely on snail mail, or travelling long physical distances. And solving this pain made its inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, a very very rich man.
Changing my mindset to be a solver of real problems made us $56,546 in 32 days
It's since been 7 years since I submitted that crazy idea of making Agar Agar cakes. And I'm definitely not as naive as I used to be. Ever since I started work at Innova Technology, I've had the privilege of overseeing product launches. And in the most recent launch we've done, sticking rigorously to the principle of Good Idea + Solves a real problem= $$$ helped our startup make sales of $56,546 in just under 32 days!
Here's the proof:
I'll show you in-depth the super simple technique we used to make such sales in a relatively short time in another post: Idea Extraction-The Art Of Listening to Your Customers .
Till the next post, decide to be a person who solves crazy problems today. Not one who sells Oreo Agar Agar cakes.