First Steps for an Idea

Apart from key Upstarta questions like “are people already trying to solve the problem that my product/service aims to address?” you’d aim to move ahead with your idea while spending the absolute minimum in money and time. So how do you do this?

I had an idea yesterday – quite different from other stuff I’m involved in, and it’s an actual product not a service. In modified form it had been lingering for a while but discussion with some people brought up additional aspects. Yep I know, quite vague… but the exact nature of the idea isn’t relevant to this story.

After a quick chat with a friend this morning for some additional detail, and a google search for raw materials, I’ve ordered some samples for a mere few dollars. So right now I don’t need to spend any more time on this idea. I did some very quick math based on the listed prices to confirm that in theory what I want to do could be economically viable.

When the samples arrive, I can assess them, and if that looks ok I can order some minimal amount of stuff to create one or two items, and possibly have them tested by someone else (good for feedback).

If at any point the idea proves unworkable (production cost or difficulties, whatever) I can ditch the idea and only have spent minimal time and a mere few dollars. But then I’ll have explored it and my mind won’t keep pondering a “what if”.

I haven’t even registered a domain name or spent time on an e-commerce site, I just did a brief check for available domain names. While the cost of a domain is minimal ($10-15) in this case it doesn’t appear necessary to quickly grab a name.

As usual with Upstarta ideas, I’m aiming for strict focus and “customisation”, not large scale production. This to easily be unique and be impervious to potential competition by large manufacturing and retail companies (I call that “the China threshold”). Apart from scale, I’ve noticed that many companies struggle to maintain focus – the pull towards diversification appears very strong, but often makes little sense.