It is said that ideas are valued more than any jewels and objects of art and, if used properly, can bring millions of dollars. It is said that if an interesting idea occurred to you, then it cannot be told to anyone, but you need to find a rich investor and sell the idea to him for big money. They say that the idea must be patented, otherwise rich investors will steal the idea and will not pay the money. They say that those who did so are now fabulously rich, have bought an island for themselves and live there like in a fairy tale. They say ... And who says something? Yes, everything is around! Friends, colleagues, acquaintances, relatives. Is it really so?
But somehow this is not very similar to the truth. After all, if it really was and the ideas were such an expensive commodity, then criminal gangs would not be controlling casinos and markets, but schools and universities. A school math Olympiad would be the center of criminal fights. But for the same reason for some reason does not happen?
Or consider the situation with the sale of ideas. Suppose you deftly catch an investor at the exit of his glass tower and immediately sell an idea to him, then paradoxical behavior would seem to be revealed - whatever the revolutionary idea, the investor will refuse to buy it for a million dollars. And for a hundred thousand refuses. And even just for a hundred. Even your proposal is beneficial to change the idea for a patty with cabbage will be met with a refusal. Why so?
Because, contrary to popular belief, investors give money not for an idea, but for its implementation. At first glance, there seems to be no difference, but if you carefully grasp the essence of the issue, it is rather big. First and foremost, the difference lies in guarantees of a high probability of successful implementation of the idea. If translated from logical to literary, then direct guarantees of success cannot exist in principle, but guarantees that all the necessary conditions for increasing the likelihood of success exist and must be fulfilled. And they are about:
- A strong idea based on a product or service, for which people are willing to pay. An idea that satisfies an existing need. And not the other way around, when a “cool” idea is first implemented and then the efforts to monetize it begin. In Russia, the gangster option is often used, when the service is free at first, and as soon as many people sit down on it, they take everyone hostage and demand money.
- Adequate author of the idea, the keeper of the overall concept of the project and constantly working on its adaptation to the real world. Must be able to communicate with the help of arguments and facts and not have frank problems with pride. Also, the author should understand the industry-specific themes of the proposed idea and have experience in it. Investors estimate the author first of all.
- Development team. The most important thing in the team is the commercial director and marketer, who will make a product out of the idea and organize sales. If there is no such person in your team, look for a business angel or an outside mentor. The rest of the developers can be found in the labor market, but such a person knowledgeable in business is unlikely. The second most important is the UX / UI / Usability designer, since without a well-developed interface you are doomed. If the user came to your site and in 10 seconds did not understand what it was and what to do next, then he will leave. There are no special requirements for programmers, the main thing is not to let them down.
- Business plan. At least a preliminary sketch without detail. And a small marketing research conducted by you personally, and not on the basis of data from the Internet. Talk to your potential customers, find out what they really need and what they are willing to pay for. It's funny, but many people do not do this and do not even think about it.
- Prototype. Do not immediately start programming a complex high-load application. First make a prototype at the level of html-pages or even easier - at the level of interactive layouts. Just show how it will look. It often happens that in thoughts and images it looks beautiful, and when you try to do it real and visually, it turns out to be absurd. Confirm yourself in advance and convince the investor that you are fine with this.
- Beta testing. No one ever gives millions of money right away to instantly launch a project for the entire known universe. First, prove that your idea works in practice. And the cheaper - the better. Speak immediately how much money and time is required for the rapid production of beta versions. No beautiful pictures and expensive design. A minimum of functionality and everything is just the case.
And only then you have something to talk with the investor. If you think that investors are just waiting for such carriers of ideas like you, then you are cruelly mistaken. Investors have to constantly fend off the flow of “brilliant ideas”, just like you do - from spam. Therefore, writing letters to them and calling is almost meaningless. Almost the only way to attract them is to participate in start-up events such as Startup Weekned
, where they purposefully come to look at new interesting projects. And even there, the maximum that you can count on is one speech lasting for one (1) minute. If you have something worthwhile, then this minute will be more than enough.The myth “The idea is stolen”.
This myth is tenacious only because it allows the authors of ideas to idle and to postpone as much as possible the moment of meeting with reality. It is quite pleasant to live as an unrecognized genius and refuse to present your idea to the public, “because they will steal it right away!”. Alas, dear authors, do not hope! Potential thieves are not so out of their minds to voluntarily steal your problems. If the professional qualification of a thief is less than yours, then in the implementation of your idea, he will quickly begin to stumble upon tasks that are too tough for him (and it is still unknown if they are too tough for you, to be frank). And if the thief is more professional than you, then it makes no sense for him to steal your idea, since he himself has plenty of them and they are most likely stronger than you. In any case, I do not know a single reliable case of theft at the idea level. But copying a service that is already successfully operating is ubiquitous and in our country even respected.
As soon as your idea starts to work and make a profit, you immediately begin to copy. Rejoice, because this is a recognition of your success! Most clones will be stupid cheap imitations, but there will be those who will take into account your mistakes and try to beat you. There is only one piece of advice for you - do not relax and have fun!
As a cognitive horror story: Did you hear about the company Zynga, the leading developer of games on the facebook platform? Still, this is the most successful gaming company in the world. It employs perhaps the most professional game designers, social engineers and gaming business marketers. Do you know how they have new games? Here’s how: Zynga marketers constantly monitor the gaming market and look for fast-growing games with a new storyline and interesting gameplay. As soon as such a game appears on the horizon, Zynga professionals in a short time make their version of this game, but already at a much professional level, with well-thought virality and ready monetization. And they launch it into the world with an incredibly massive advertising campaign for the millionth audience of their other games. And as a result, tens of millions of new players and millions of dollars in profits are received immediately. But do not think that Zynga is engaged in cloning, no, they are just looking for the actual topic or interesting gameplay, which is already confirmed by real statistics. And based on this, develop their own game from the very beginning to the end. Often it is completely different from the game of the donor. This approach does not mean that Zynga has no ideas of its own. Just new games - like a lottery, it is impossible to know in advance what will be a hit and what will not. And Zynga does everything to know for sure. But you should not be totally afraid of the terrible Zynga, many varieties of games do not interest her at all. Unfortunately, in Russia during all this time of the game-building boom, no one did anything worthy to steal (the games of Alawar do not count).Share ideas.
As soon as you get rid of the fear of theft of an idea, start sharing the idea with the people who are experienced in the subject. Listen carefully to what they say. Collect all the criticism and carefully reflect on it. Look for people who can look at your idea from some new, unexpected side. Especially appreciate the opinions of experienced people from the business, they tend to quickly figure out what will be sold and what is not. The more actively you check your idea about everyone, the brighter and clearer it becomes. In most cases, in the end, it turns out that for its implementation you do not need investor money, and that you can realize everything on your own (except with periodic advice from an experienced marketer). For passionate investors, money will be an unpleasant revelation, isn't it?
Actively communicate with the same ideological people like yourself. Perhaps they are now also thinking about the implementation of something similar project. Perhaps your projects can come together or complement each other. And as a result, you get some kind of new and interesting business solution. Perhaps an idea like yours already occurred in the minds of many people working in the same field as you. And for some reason they did not embody it in life. Here you first need to learn about these cases and why the idea did not go away from them. Post an idea! As long as you hide in the unknown and think in your head the same ideological thoughts in a circle - you lose the opportunity to learn new things and evolve ideologically.So what about the ideas? Are they worth big money or not?
Definitely not. Money costs only their implementation. What you call a “worthwhile idea” is just a general theme of the proposed project, for the realization of which you will have to come up with at least 1000 (thousand) “ideas” of the same quality. And in order not to confuse ideas and “ideas”, I suggest you a new habit of calling these things that come to your mind a little bit different. Namely: “interesting thoughts”. So all at once become more earthy and more constructive. You can calmly reflect on the implementation, without fear that your thoughts about investment will suddenly strike your head.