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So Wan Wei posted about “stealing my idea“. About people being worried that if they shared their idea, someone would steal it. Not all ideas are valuable, just validated ones.
I agree with all three points. The point I wanted to highlight here is that to be able to achieve idea validation, you actually need to share your idea.
So this is funny, really, with over 400 students on their entrepreneurship journey to date since July, despite advocating a safe space (for business idea sharing), I get this quite often. I get questions about how to solve a problem, but they weren’t willing to give detailed context to the problem, worried that someone might steal the concept and run with it.
I find that silly, really. First, how am I supposed to diagnose if you don’t give me sufficient information? How am I supposed to provide you with proper recommendations if I don’t know the actual problem?
There was this one incident that ruffled me a little. My student purchased a mentorship call. To put things in a better perspective, I have a system in place for this. When a student purchases a call and books it, there’s a form they need to fill out for me to have enough context about the business and what they want to discuss before we do the call. So that the time spent for both of us would be worthwhile, I crafted this form for the student to basically think through their business and problems; if you can write it down, the situation becomes more apparent to you. If you can’t, now that’s a bigger issue altogether.
So this student filled up the form; however, in most, if not all, fields, he/she stated, “It’s confidential.” Reading it, I was basically baffled. So, I’m supposed to fix a problem that I can’t know about? See the contradiction here? Interesting right.
I love money, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think you can be in business without fundamentally loving money. But I value my time over money cause you literally can’t buy time with money.
I rejected that call, refunded the entire bundle, and explained that I didn’t think I was the right mentor for that person.
This is a little off point here, but my purpose for this academy isn’t solely to have people purchase my programme and do (startup) mentorship calls just to make money. Again, I love money. My purpose is to help my students grow. Also, to find potential portfolios (projects I can invest in), partners and collaborators to grow together.
It’s important to understand I’m not making you fill up the form for fun. I’m making you fill it up to think of your problem logically and also to save your time and money with that one hour you paid for and spend it on actually solving or enhancing your business, service or product. You wouldn’t want to be paying me for an hour to have half of it explaining to me what the problem is, right?
Coming back, I wrote a piece just recently and haven’t published it, but let’s talk a bit about product validation here. I think that most entrepreneurs make one grave mistake, but I don’t blame them cause we are all told to target our warm market when making sales. It’s not wrong. But that’s not validation, not good validation, at least, in my opinion, and maybe some others.
The problem with selling something to someone you know is that the sales are usually not because of the product or how great your go-to-market strategy is but how much trust that person has in you. To know whether your product or strategy works or not, you gotta really try it on people you don’t know, and if they purchase, now that’s validation. The metrics here would be from, say, 100 people you approach; how many would purchase? Is it 10, 20, 30 or 50 percent? The higher that percentage, the stronger the validation.
It’s an interesting topic here. As an open-source advocate for the last 20-odd years, I’ve always believed, like what Wan Wei said, the devil’s in the execution. We’re talking about ideas here, not secret formulas. Over 20 years ago, I told my mum one day I’d have a robot assistant to help me with homework, but I literally did nothing about it. 20 years later, we have ChatGPT.
It’s about taking action.
At Royal Launch School and W3b Launch School, we believe in execution over ideas, taking an idea and making it a reality, and developing their business strategy. With our expertise and those of our guests, we provide a shorter path to your end goal. Think of it like a roadmap – giving you the fastest route to your destination, equipping you with tested and proven methods and tools to help you get there.
If I got 100 bucks for every idea I had, I’d be a billionaire by now. So hey, guess what? Ideas aren’t worth that much if it’s just in your head or, in my case, a Google Sheet.