Wednesday, 27 August 2008

How to Not Go Broke on Your Million Dollar Idea

Before you bet the bank on your next million dollar idea, you should do a reality check to see if the idea is worth it. People often fall in love with their ideas and as a result can experience tremendous pain if it turns out the idea is a bad one.

Developing ideas into commercial successes is generally difficult work since there are many steps involved and the odds of success are not very high. You need to approach this with a process orientation and come at it with sufficient leadership skills and abilities to carry it though. Thinking in terms of getting rich on a one shot idea or expecting someone else to take the leadership initiative while you sit back and wait for a million dollar check to come in the mail will not work. That is something that people with inventoritis do. They almost always meet with poverty and its close companion – misery. On the other hand, people with good leadership abilities and skills who are teachable and follow sound marketing processes have a much greater chance of enjoying positive financial and career-enhancing experiences. Persistence counts and people who can pull this off tend to do so repeatedly. Famous American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was a master of developing ideas into commercial successes and died a rich and powerful man after a long prolific life. He cranked out over 1000 patented ideas, many of which were commercially successful.

We have prepared a list of questions you can use as a way to perform a reality check on your idea. It is intended to help you determine whether or not you actually have an idea that is worth something. If you are in a company, you want to know whether this is a career builder or a sure fire way to have the security people escort you from the property and demagnetize your company identification card. No lunch, no watch. If you are an inventor or entrepreneur looking for the million dollar check, you want to know this too so that you or your spouse does not end up having to take a part time job at Wal-Mart to help cover the losses. Anyone with inventoritis should make special note of the following 10 questions that will help you determine if your idea is worth pursuing:

1. Can you explain your idea to someone within 5 minutes using no more than a single sheet of paper and a crayon as visual aids?
2. Can you define your marketing strategy in 5 words or less?
3. Do you know your 6 best potential customers twice as well as they know themselves?
4. If someone stole your idea today, would you be willing to proceed anyway?
5. Are you willing to proceed if it costs twice as much and takes three times as long as your presumably reasonable estimates suggest?
6. Are you willing to sell it door to door if required?
7. Is your idea media worthy? – Have you asked?
8. Do you have a network of credible and qualified advisors who can help you through the process and to help assess things at various stages of the process?
9. If it fails, can you afford the losses?
10. Do you believe any of the following statements?

“The idea will sell itself.”
“Everyone will need this.”
“There is no competition.”
“I don’t have a problem letting go.”
“No one can copy it.”
“No one has thought of this.”
“The marketing is no big deal.”
“‘Insert big company name’ will pay millions for this.”
“It’s not about the money.”

If you do believe any of the above statements derived from a list of common lies told by inventors who are the best known group of people trying to turn ideas into money, you likely have inventoritis. If you have inventoritis then stop right now. Do not bug your boss. Do not go to the bank, family or friends to borrow any money. Get the condition treated first or you will fail.

Assuming your idea passes the above reality check, then before launching into a whole bunch of expensive technical work into turning the idea into reality, do more up front marketing work. If the idea is for a product, find an inexpensive way to prepare some samples or mock-ups then conduct further customer prospect interviews, focus group sessions, surveys, test marketing trials and so on while observing customer behavior and developing the business case for your idea. As the business case develops, apply reasonable resources in a reasonable way toward developing the market in a profitable way. Do this whether you are selling the idea to a single customer for a simple check or moving toward a full blown multi-million dollar product launch. The process should be roughly the same.

If your idea fails these above tests, then move on knowing you haven’t bet the bank, risked your job prematurely or unduly stressed your personal relationships. This is not the same thing as giving up on your ideas. It is much better to kill something that doesn’t make sense than to have it kill you.

Friday, 22 August 2008

The Simple Truth About Million Dollar Business Ideas

When we hear of million dollar business ideas, we often hear of the proverbial light bulb over the head or eureka moment as the catalyst to creativity. Scientists have recently mapped the part of the brain where the "Aha" effect takes place. In less than .3 milliseconds, the intensified neural activity triggers the proverbial light bulb.

However, million dollar ideas aren't the stuff of MBA problem solving. Science knows the creative spark is a separate cognitive process from the day-to-day mundane problem solving skills used in business. The brain is searching more for a pattern or solving a puzzle as opposed to linear thinking that often accompanies the problem solving nature of business.

Contrary to popular myth, the breakthrough idea is not a single eureka event but more a series of known events happening before and after the big "Aha." These events occur as follows: the receptive or preparation stage, the incubation stage, the "Aha" effect, and the verification stage.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Top 10 Advices How to Become a Millionaire

Here's a simple list of the top 10 advices how to become a millionaire

1. Keep your eyes peeled for better ways to do your job.
2. Don't be afraid to negotiate.
3. Get your ducks in a row and your numbers on paper.
4. Plot your strategy when it's time to move on
5. Flex your tax-saving muscle
6. Review your tax withholding
7. Don't delay
8. Invest automatically
9. Watch for fund fees
10.Keep it simple.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Million Dollar Ideas: Lesson 6 - Capitalize on your success

Capitalize on your success.

Did you know that the final 1000 pixels were sold off through an ebay auction for $38,100? That is a 3810% markup from the original stated price! That pushed the profits well beyond a million dollars. Alex knew when to capitalize. Also, have you heard of his new venture? The million dollar pixel lotto? Well, with so many copy cats out there, you would think it’s impossible to repeat this feat right? Well, not if you are Alex. If you are Alex, you think how you can capitalize on the buzz you have generated, on the hype you already have. How to strike while the iron is hot? So you double the price per pixel and offer a million dollar prize to those who click on the ads. Now you have people who want to click on the ads for the million dollar jackpot, and the advertisers are thrilled that there is more than just the hype that motivates people to click their ads. In the roughly 1.5 months that the pixel lotto was up, Alex has already sold $300K worth of ads! It’s incredible!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Million Dollar Ideas: Lesson 5 - Market it

Market it.

That brings us to the next lesson, market it. See how to spin it so that you can get others as charged up about it as you are. The great thing about this idea is it was one of a kind when it was started (Now there must be a gazillion copycats!). So by hyping it Alex could generate the buzz traffic to his site. He then used the buzz traffic to get some people to buy the ads. This generated more buzz, since the idea that could possibly not work was working! So, more people flocked to his site to check it out. This made more people want to advertise there, hoping to direct a piece of that traffic to their site. And the rest is history. Alex also used other tricks. He appealed to the customer’s emotions while marketing by using statements like "own a piece of internet history" and to the customer’s sense of value-for-money with statements like "The site will be online for 5 years guaranteed, however the aim is to keep the site online forever (or as long as humanly possible)". If you have an outside-the-box idea, then to make it successful you need to have outside-the-box marketing too!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Million Dollar Ideas: Lesson 4 - Think Big

Think Big.

How much does it take to really pay for three years of business school? You bet it isn’t 1 million dollars. But Alex went for the 1 million. Why? Because once you have an idea, and a passion to drive it, you might as well go all out. Reach for the stars. Don’t settle for less. Don’t short sell yourself. And of course, in Alex’s own words "I knew the site had to be 'The Million Dollar Homepage' in order to catch people's attention - anything else just wouldn't cut it, eg. '$100,000 Homepage'. Er... no."

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