Is my idea any good?

By Katja Poltavets

An idea is one thing, but developing it into a concept and then into a successful final product is underestimated by many. Before a concept can be developed, it is important - both for us and for you - to have all the elements and frameworks worked out. The clearer this is, the faster and better your concept can be implemented. For this, of course... there isn't just one right way, but you can use a number of guidelines and focal points. We are happy to share our experiences with you.

1. "An idea is not the same as a concept."

Be aware that an idea is not the same as a concept. It all starts with one idea: a thought or notion with an abstract purpose. But then you are far from done. To turn this into an actual concept, connect different perspectives and qualities with each other. These parts together create a set of coherent elements with a clear purpose; the concept. Make sure you have a clear picture of all these parts, because an idea alone is obviously not enough!

2. "Set a goal and stick to it."

Anyone who is enthusiastic about his or her idea can occasionally spill over into enthusiasm. We catch ourselves doing it sometimes too ;) This is great for your creative process, but not always conducive to its results. Your idea is conceived to serve a specific purpose, with possibly sub-goals for expansion. Take Airbnb as an example: the main goal is to bring supply and demand, of places to stay, together. The sub-goals are convenience, transparency, affordability, and so on.

Take enough time to set this goal and evaluate it often enough. In the beginning, it may feel like you're going in circles, but this is actually important for good delineation. Always have a smaller scope; the clearer, the better. To do this, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is the concept goal relevant to? → What is your target audience (who is going to use your product use) and what is the added value?
  • What is the main purpose of your concept? → What is the result for the user, when using your final product?
  • What steps must be taken to realize the concept? → The brains, the builders, the boosters?

3. "Be critical and reflect on your ideas."

Needless to say, you must be convinced of your idea when you begin to develop it. But this does not take away the need to remain critical of your plans and associated components. Continuously ask yourself critical questions that will make sure your concept serves the ultimate goal. The goal you set is the starting point you can always fall back on to not stray from the thread. For this, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my product actually provide the added value you expect?
  • Is your target group (or are your target groups) clear enough and do they really benefit from your product?
  • Is there another product that already provides the target group? If so, how does your product distinguish itself?

At this point, you are already well into your concept and, because of your own involvement, it is often more difficult to assess whether you are still looking at the situation objectively. Therefore, be open to feedback as you move forward.

4. "Set clear and realistic expectations."

After you've set your goals, it's time for another round of evaluation. Your goals can be clear, but if they are not achievable, you will get stuck early in the process. So be aware of your capacity and check if your expectations are in line with it. Make an overview of this and check whether your associated goals are realistic. Think about your available time and financial resources, but also about what you can expect in return. Also look back at your established steps from step 2. Are they still relevant and realistic?

  • What is your own input? → How much time and financial resources can and are you willing to devote to your concept?
  • What results do you expect from your concept in terms of content? → What should it look like, how should it work?
  • What kind of results do you expect from the implementation of your concept? → What numbers do you want to achieve after launching the product?

5. "A concept is always evolving."

Easier said than done, of course. Keep in mind that this can be a lengthy undertaking. Concept development is an extensive, creative process that can take a long time. Here it is difficult to set an end point, because a product can always be bigger, better, and more beautiful. In addition, the components that form your concept change over time. Think about available resources, target audience, and your own vision. For all these reasons, you will need to be open to input and adjustments from different perspectives.

6. "I'mpossible"

Like the State Lottery, we believe in the statement "Anything is possible. But if you have your goals checked for clarity, 'achievability' and possible change, then also check whether they are really necessary. Technically, a lot can be realized, but whether it also adds value, is another story.

We like to think with the customer about the possibilities to realize a concept. In doing so, we always go back to the core: we don't necessarily do what you think is best, or what we think is best, but we make sure we perform actions that are best for the final goal of the product. In the end, that's what it's all about, right?

7. "Communication and transparency are key."

Once the development of the product begins, communication is one of the most important focal points. Development is a step-by-step process, so a tight schedule and clear action points are a requirement. It may sound obvious, but in this regard miscommunication about certain expectations can cause major misunderstandings. By constantly aligning from different perspectives, all participating parties know how and why something can or cannot be fulfilled.

8. "The product is not the end point."

Your product is finished, all available time and financial resources have been spent, and a fantastic platform is ready to go. The participating parties are extremely satisfied with the end result. But when the product is online, the users are far away, and the goals set suddenly seem far away. Something we can't say often enough: remember that the product is not the end point of the process! No matter how good our collective result is, it\s no good if no one uses it. Marketing a product well, is just as important as all the steps before production. You can keep the marketing of your platform in your own hands, but we are more than happy to help you with this. After the brains and the builders, we turn on the boosters so that your product actually reaches the market, in order to be used by your target audience.

If you have any questions about, or feedback on our steps, we'd love to hear from you! Also, if you want to share your ideas with us, we would of course love to invite you for a cup of coffee.

Written by
Katja Poltavets

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