Test before your commit.
Having lots of ideas can be both a blessing and a curse.
So over the years I’ve developed a process or rather a set of questions I try to use to to determine if my latest & greatest new idea is something worth obsessing over -- OR -- if it's actually just a rabbit hole of distraction and frustration that I need to move on from as quickly as possible.
Here’s the basics of the questions I try to work through with each new idea I can’t help myself from obsessing over:
1. Have an Unfair Advantage
Do I have an unfair advantage that gives me an edge over my competition? A unique skill, knowledge, experience, or access to resources that others do not have?
Without an unfair advantage, execution will be an uphill battle. It will probably be cost prohibitive & time consuming for me to execute on the vision AND also fairly easy for others to copy any successes I do find along the way. But if I think I do have at least one unfair advantage that will help me execute on this great new idea, then:
2. Make Sure There is a Real Market
How many people actually have the problem my idea solves for? Is it a lot or a little? Is it growing or shrinking in size year-over-year?
If it's small, I will prob. have to charge a lot to make it work. If it's shrinking in size, I'll probably have to execute very quickly to take advantage of any window of opportunity. Are either of these limiting factors enough to kill my obsession? If not, then:
3. Check for Market Demand
Do people actually know they have this problem? And are the actively looking for solutions?
It usually takes a large budget and lots of time to properly educate a market. So if the answer to either of these questions is no, then it's almost always an automatic pass. However, if both answer are yes, then:
4. Start with Real Sales
Will people actually pay for it? Will they pay enough to build a business around it?
These questions can only truly be answered with real sales. So, I try close real sales in whatever way I can (ideally using a manual, no-tech, just based on conversations & promises approach if possible — especially since the easy thing for me to do is to hide away in the tech & building).
If I can get this far, still find myself obsessing over the idea & opportunity, and made at least one real sale, then it looks like I have the potential for a real business (and I’ll def. have a lot more specific insight on a product roadmap and a potential growth path).
So my great new idea just might be worth continuing to obsess over!