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10 Steps to build Awesome Business Ideas


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10-steps guide for corporate innovators to:
- Validate business ideas with proved methodologies
- Communicate these ideas more effectively with a structured format

Published in: Business

10 Steps to build Awesome Business Ideas

  1. 1. curated by Vincent Pirenne The Innovation Matrix. Find the innovation strategy that best fits your company. curated by Zygi Krupskis 10 STEPS TO BUILD AWESOME BUSINESS IDEAS THAT YOUR MANAGERS WILL PICK FROM THE CROWD
  2. 2. Board of Innovation makes corporations innovate like startups, mixing proven methods from Design Thinking and Lean Startup. Feel free to tweak, fix, remix any part of this work, as long as it is for non- commercial purposes. Good karma on you if you credit Board of Innovation. Some of the clients with whom we are proud to work: say hi
  3. 3. Everyone can come up with the next big idea. Photo by Yvette de Wit on Unsplash
  4. 4. But you want your idea to... Photo by Yvette de Wit on Unsplash
  5. 5. But you want your idea to... stand out from the crowd. Photo by Yvette de Wit on Unsplash
  6. 6. We get managers complain to us quite often that they are submerged by hundreds of ideas. Often times, these ideas their employees come up with are not tangible enough and are communicated poorly. Hence, the managers can’t take action on those ideas. On one side, managers feel flooded with ideas When we speak to employees in strategy or R&D departments, they often complain that their ideas are barely picked up by their managers. On the other side, employees see their ideas rarely picked up
  7. 7. Here’s a 10-steps guide to turn... business ideas business concepts into (which will stand out from the crowd, and your manager will love)
  8. 8. Let’s start!
  9. 9. 1. Have you defined a customer segment which you will focus on? PROBLEM SPACE SOLUTION SPACE
  10. 10. Start with a clear customer segment that you want to target. It will keep you in focus and will make it easier to come up with the right solutions. 1. CUSTOMER SEGMENT & EARLY ADOPTERS
  11. 11. I’ve heard countless times that the idea is for “everyone”. Solution for everyone is a solution for no-one, therefore you should define your customer segment a bit more in-depth. Why? If you try to solve the problems of humanity right away, chances are that it will be incredibly difficult. Everyone who has a car. People who own but barely drive their car and use it only during the weekends. 1. CUSTOMER SEGMENT & EARLY ADOPTERS
  12. 12. Even Facebook, which has now 1,5 billions active users, didn’t start to serve “everyone” in the first place. Instead, it started with a small target audience: college students. 1. CUSTOMER SEGMENT & EARLY ADOPTERS
  13. 13. 2. Have you spotted a problem that customer is having? PROBLEM SPACE SOLUTION SPACE
  14. 14. Not every solution has a problem. A watering can that waters itself. A ctrl-alt-del wand for unrensponsive Windows machines. A... screen blind? A face jumper? Anyway... the fact that you can think of these solutions doesn’t imply they’ll solve a real problem. 2. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
  15. 15. Not every solution has a problem, but every problem has a solution. Instead of starting with a solution for the selected customer segment, start with identifying their problems. At any given moment you should be able to tell which problem you are trying to solve for your customers. If you manage to identify and solve a problem which is painful enough, people will be ready to pay for the solution. 2. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
  16. 16. 3. Have you spoken to at least 3 of each stakeholders about the problem? PROBLEM SPACE SOLUTION SPACE
  17. 17. 3. PROBLEM INTERVIEWS “I’ve learned more by talking 2 minutes with a customer, than by 6 months of market research”.
  18. 18. Go. And. Talk. With. Customers. Now. Seriously: this is the single most important suggestion we want you to take away from this presentation. Go. And. Talk. With. Customers. Now. It’s important that you not only think that you have found a problem, but that your customers validate that they are indeed feeling the problem. 3. PROBLEM INTERVIEWS
  19. 19. Here are some reasons to speak to your customers in such an early stage: 1. You never know if the problem is actually there before it is confirmed. 2. Understand context of the problem (how bad is it, why do they not solve it already, etc.) 3. You will have a list of people, who might become your first clients. We have created a checklist you can download to help you set up problem validation interviews. 3. PROBLEM INTERVIEWS
  20. 20. 4. Now the question is, have you estimated if the problem is worth solving? PROBLEM SPACE SOLUTION SPACE
  21. 21. 4. PROBLEM SIZE ESTIMATION Numb3rs are your friends in this step. Estimate the size of the problem that you are solving: it will help you communicate the seriousness of the problem.
  22. 22. Companies have hard time finding talented employees On average corporates spend 20 hours to find a suitable candidate. Taking into account the salary of 20 €/hour and the fact that we hire 500 people every year, we spend 200,000 € on just finding talented employees Let’s compare two ways of explaining a problem: Make sure you estimate the problem that you want to solve. This will make your point more credible once you communicate to managers/sponsors/investors. 4. PROBLEM SIZE ESTIMATION
  23. 23. 5. Have you come up with more than one single idea to solve the problem? PROBLEM SPACE SOLUTION SPACE
  24. 24. 5. IDEATION So you know who your customer segment is, you know their problems and you probably already have an idea or two to solve those problems. Before you move on, stop for a minute and try out a couple of ideation exercises to get more ideas. Who knows, maybe you will come up with even better ones?
  25. 25. 50 business models to copy What happens often during ideation sessions is that initial ideas are improved even more. Here on the left you can find a couple of exercises to make brainstorming easier. Brainstorm cards 75 slides & 120 brainstorm cards based on 50 innovative business model examples. A collection of 52 cards to help you brainstorm and come up with new ideas. 5. IDEATION
  26. 26. 6. Do you know the existing alternatives/competition? PROBLEM SPACE SOLUTION SPACE
  27. 27. 6. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE Don’t reinvent apples! Make sure to be up to date on which other alternatives are available to solve the same problem. Photo by Raquel Martinez on Unsplash
  28. 28. For example, a lot of software companies don’t understand that Excel is usually their alternative: if their software is not solving at least one problem better than Excel, it might be difficult to find adopters for the solution. Also, it makes sense to understand the competitive landscape and scout what your competitors are doing (what is working and what is not?). Google might not be your best friend in finding innovative concepts, so use producthunt, and instead. 6. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE Photo by Raquel Martinez on Unsplash
  29. 29. 7. Once you’ve decided which solution you’ll pursue, can you explain it in 1 minute? PROBLEM SPACE SOLUTION SPACE
  30. 30. 7. VALUE PROPOSITION In order to communicate your idea clearly, you should be able to capture its value proposition in few effective sentences.
  31. 31. Build your 1-minute pitch with this solid 3-sentence template (source: Lean B2B). Template For (target customers) who are dissatisfied with (the current market alternative). Our product is a (new product category) that provides (key problem-solving capability). Unlike (the product alternative), our product (describe the key product features). Example Our product is for marketing teams in small retail chains that are dissatisfied with newspaper advertising. Our product improves revenue through greater reach. Unlike newspaper advertising, our products allows marketers to reach highly targeted customers fast. 7. VALUE PROPOSITION
  32. 32. 8. Have you made a tangible prototype, which you could show to people? PROBLEM SPACE SOLUTION SPACE
  33. 33. Once you know the problems of your customers, you know those problems are large enough and you have a solution with a clear value proposition, next step is to build a prototype in order to run experiments. Why? It will help you communicate your idea better and gather first customer feedback. Must-read: The Lean Startup, that will show you everything about quick prototyping and testing. There are plenty of different types of prototypes that you could test with the customers, raging from low- to high-fidelity. 8. PROTOTYPE
  34. 34. 1. Start on paper Start with a simple storyboard/ customer journey map. 2. Go digital Step further: design a live mockup. 3. Get real Pretend to run the service (and manually perform it). 8. PROTOTYPESome tips for your prototype
  35. 35. 9. You have a prototype. That’s so much better. Have you showed it to the customers? PROBLEM SPACE SOLUTION SPACE
  36. 36. 9. SOLUTION INTERVIEWS Prototypes are made for a sole reason: to be shared and shown to customers in order to gather feedback and improve the product/ service. And since you have a prototype, why not show it?
  37. 37. Why, you may ask? While showing prototypes and conducting solution interviews, you will learn whether the solution that you have in mind is something that would be used by the customers. Customers will provide you a lot of valuable insight into how you could change the prototype to make it better. Check out how our colleague Vincent used lean startup to launch his own startup. 9. SOLUTION INTERVIEWS
  38. 38. 10. Time to show me the money! Have you estimated the size of the total addressable market? PROBLEM SPACE SOLUTION SPACE
  39. 39. 10. ADDRESSABLE MARKET “If you can show me the business case, it’s already too late.” — Bill What he means is that for innovation projects there are more assumptions in your business than certainties. That’s the reason here at Board of Innovation we use ballpark figures, a rough numerical estimate which helps us to support our arguments and show the potential value in the project. No complicated business cases on Excel.
  40. 40. STEP 1 Build up a reasonable formula of how you would calculate the addressable market size. STEP 2 Fill in the formula with guesstimates. Is it 10, 100, 1000, 10000 etc…?). The idea is to know if the market is worth either 100k €, 1M € or 1B €. Current number of cheap and online trips worldwide x price per day (similar to cheap hotels) x avg. time spend in hotel x profit margin ADDRESSABLE MARKET EXPECTED REVENUE expected market share MARKET % x SIZE MATTERS 10. ADDRESSABLE MARKET PhotobyAzizAcharkikonUnsplash
  41. 41. EXTRA TIP Do you know what you need from the person you are pitching to?
  42. 42. Before you go to pitch your solution to the manager/ sponsor/investor, make sure that you know what you need from them. Is it money? Is it their time and support? Is it a decision? Communicate what you need from them and let them know what will be done/achieved with the resources. EXTRA TIP CALL TO ACTION Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash
  43. 43. Congratulations! You’re ready to pitch Photo by Anyika Onuora on Unsplash
  44. 44. Need support to take your ideas further and help reach the market? Your Lean Entrepreneur is only one email away. Photo by Jean-Frederic Fortier on Unsplash
  45. 45. Zygi Krupskis Innovation Consultant Giorgio Orsucci Innovation Researcher Did we miss anything? Reach out! Board of Innovation makes corporates innovate like startups, mixing proven methods from Design Thinking and Lean Startup. Montana Mertens Graphic Designer Feel free to tweak, fix, remix any part of this work, as long as it is for non- commercial purposes. Good karma on you if you credit Board of Innovation. say hi