Great Opportunity or Costly Blunder #1

There are many myths about business success and failure and equally as many myths about how to measure what is business success or failure.

For example, is closing the doors due to the stress of it all, the same failure as closing the doors because you don’t have the cash to keep them open?

Or the business owner made one big risky decision that paid-off handsomely.

Whichever: we present here what can be a Great Opportunity or Costly Blunder.

There are likely to be at least six reasons for starting a business or introducing a new product:

1.    Underutilized capacity – a need to ramp-up the use of current capacity;
2.    Extension of current offering – a ‘sister’ product or service;
3.    Problem resolution – delivering a product/service to fix an identified problem;
4.    The ‘Big Dream’ – a ‘bright idea’ that ‘can’t fail’, but has not been tested in the marketplace;
5.    ‘White Space’ – a gap between the features of similar products;
6.    Unique knowledge of an economic sector – you know something others don’t!

What are your top five reasons for starting a business – or not starting one?

One thing all these six reasons have in common is the assumption that:

1.    The opportunity can generate sufficient cashflow to sustain the business over the long-term;
2.    You have the capacity to raise the necessary capital to fund the business over the long-term?;
3.    The market will respond to the product offering – even if it is better than the alternate solution?;
4.    You have the emotional stamina to ride the rocky road to success – or failure?

What assumptions will you make when starting a new business?

Remember, the first people elevator was invented in 67AD by Heron of Alexandria. It was steam driven and actually installed in a building along with stream-driven self-opening doors. It took another 2,000 years before it became a standard item that introduced us to the sky-scraper era.

Do you have an ‘old invention’ that can be turned into a new business?

Or, did I blunder with the history of elevator technology?

8 thoughts on “Great Opportunity or Costly Blunder #1

  • Dianne,
    Yes, it is expensive, and the product(s) must not be off the consumer’s ‘radar’ if it is to get quick traction in the market place – for the reasons you state. Your argument is for incremental innovation, but the research I have conducted around the globe and over the years consistently indicates that radical innovations that resonate with the market place have been successful more often than is often recognized. And, will generate profits in multiples more than incremental innovations. Apple, is very effective at this – hence the reason they recently became the highest capitalized corporation around the globe.

    Comment from: Strategic Outcomes

  • In my experience it’s important to work off an established concept, one that everybody understands. It’s not something new and revolutionary. Why? Because there is nothing more expensive than educating a market.


    Comment from: Dianne

  • Louise,
    There are several proven and very effective capital raising options available. Naturally, the idea needs to be well documented and the opportunity ‘proven’ to have potential. This is a longer conversation than possible here and with a need to maintain confidence about your product. We are an accredited capital raising service, if you wish to follow up separately.

    Comment from: Strategic Outcomes

  • I have several business ideas that I believe are worth pursuing but am unsure how to raise capital. How should one start to find such resources for capital.

    Comment from: Louise Dent

  • Steve,
    If you had posed this quest a year past, I would not have agreed. But, now I think you may well be right. However, my recent experience tells me, the good old high quality personal letter to a decision-maker is making a real comeback as part of the social-personal process. How does one attract the millions of the social masses to your Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter site. This process is either organic (slow) of a paid ranking process that directs the search hits to your site. Or, be controversial and attract respondents for all the right – or wrong reasons.

    Comment from: Strategic Outcomes

  • You make some good points. A common problem when you’re trying to market an invention – or rather the product made from an invention idea – is how to publicise it without going broke. Everything tells us to use social media to get your message across, and if you don’t make heavy use of Facebook and Twitter, and to some extent LinkedIn, you’re doomed.

    What are your thoughts?

    Comment from: Steve

  • Claire,
    I agree. It is important to marry product and process and bring the two together in a format that resonates with the market place.
    I believe, there are many more ideas that can make profitable business than we often recognize. We need to be a little more vigorous in assessing and prioritizing all options.

    Comment from: Strategic Outcomes

  • The best way to turn an old invention into something new is to get educated in how the whole process works – how to potentially turn an idea into a money making invention. Upfront, you need to know that only a minority of ideas eventually make money. However, that should not stop you from inventing.

    Comment from: Claire Dixon

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