You have now learned the core elements of a brilliant idea. Now let’s look at how to put your brilliant idea into action, and how to make it even more brilliant, better differentiated and more competitive as time goes on.
1. Focus on the core of your business.
It’s important to keep firmly in mind what you’re selling, why you’re selling it, who is buying it and how it benefits your customers. As an innovative entrepreneur, you have new ideas all the time, and see things from different perspectives. That’s all part of being creative. While keeping your mind wide open to new ideas, just remind yourself now and then of what the core of your business is. Keep on working to improve the core of your product. New ideas and add-ons are worthless if the basics aren’t great all by themselves.
2. The problem and the solution
Write down a few sentences describing what problem you’re solving with your idea, and why your solution is so unique. This is a way of focusing, and pursuing your idea in a dedicated way. During the intense challenge of going for “more” and “better,” people can forget what they are fighting for and why they are helping their users. Use this problem-and-solution exercise to stay focused.
3. Cash flow
Cash is king, which is the bottom-line reason you should always be looking for ways to optimize your business model. The more predictable your cash flow, the greater your company’s value to you, your team, your investors and your customers. Stable cash flow also gives you the enormous advantage of being able to focus on being creative, instead of worrying about day-to-day financial concerns.
When you least expect it, you’ll suddenly find yourself with a new competitor. Or with an existing competitor launching a new product, or an update that takes an old product to a whole new level. This is why you have to make your product perfect. Not just good. If Apple had not been continually striving for perfection, they would not have built the brand and company they are today. Keep a part of your brain on innovation; your product offerings must constantly evolve as the market changes.
If you want to build a successful company, and your idea is brilliant and the best, your personality and the personalities of your team members become critical factors in the scope of your success. You’ll often find that the fastest growing start-ups have a personality and culture that makes all the difference.
To really go over the top, a company must stand out – and it has to be human. Software is just a bunch of digits, after all. Just bits and bytes. Your company has to stand out on the human front. Visitors and customers should be introduced to your team, with pictures and even videos. You need to offer (and deliver!) fast, personal and personable customer support that really focuses on listening to your customer and fully understands what he needs. Problem-solving and compassion are keys to great customer service. (While being cheerful, friendly and courteous all the way.) That’s not always easy, but it is always priceless.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
You need to stand out in your field and in your market – not just in terms of your products, but also in the human arena. Make sure your team understands this, motivate them and help them to achieve it, and appreciate it very loudly when they do achieve it.
6. Innovation is a two-sided coin
First you make something, and then the users adjust it. The customer is king, but don’t forget who (you!) created the new world (the unique product!) and that many kings have failed to serve their own kingdoms! In other words, do not be fooled into thinking that the customer is always right about everything.
This doesn’t mean you should be rude to customers, or ridicule their suggestions or requests or problems. But most often you are the one who is an expert in the field, the one who sees problems from a new viewpoint that the customer hasn’t even considered. You’re the one working right on the edge (or beyond!), seeing new possibilities and developing new solutions that surprise and delight users. So go ahead – stay a step ahead to win loyalty, trust and praise. People often don’t really know what they want until you give it to them. Keep looking forward, be true to yourself and your vision, and you might be the next Steve Jobs or Henry Ford!
7. You need to have the best team
In a relay race, the best team wins; and the best teams have extraordinary skills, a great “can-do” culture, and a positive coach. To create, develop and take an idea to the highest levels, you’re going to need the very best team you can assemble. A team composed of individuals who each understand and enrich the company’s culture and the founder’s concept of the company, its products and services. The hardest part of working with a brilliant idea is this aspect of continuing development and evolution. It’s the execution. That’s where a superior team is vital.