From an entrepreneurial point of view, there are lots of great ideas out there. The trick is to take them beyond the idea into revenue generation that continues past the original concept. Sharing your idea is paramount in gaining traction. I meet a lot of budding entrepreneurs who tell me that they are working on the world's best idea, but they can't tell me anything about it unless I sign a NDA.
It's hard for me to understand why this idea and team secrecy is so widespread. It is difficult to give support to a product that nobody knows anything about. A lot of entrepreneurs at the beginning of the start-up process, rely heavily on their personal network to get things moving. Of course there is the theoretical possibility that someone you tell your idea to, can steal it and makes a billion-dollar business from it. But the likelihood is low.
You should of course not be naive, but to tell your idea to people who are not directly involved in the competing business, should be considered an advantage rather than a risk.
When creating a start-up, there are many aspects that need to be considered. Such as, finding the right people who have a shared ideal and together you want to build something extraordinary. There is a driving need to take a handful of rough ideas and turn those into a product that people want to buy.
From the beginning, it is incredibly important to have all the legal documentation of the company structure in place, before finance comes into play. This is especially the case when there are several stakeholders involved. The time and energy it takes, is well worth the effort and lays the foundation for a smoother transition from start-up to high growth company.
The second and from my point of view the most fun, slice of the pie, is finding the idea for a product that interests all parties involved and works with the in-house knowledge of the founding team. Our initial idea for Queue-it began with three broad subjects, discussed with the founding members, Niels Henrik Sodemann, Martin Pronk and myself. We wanted the new business to involve Cloud Computing (SaaS), have international market potential and be something totally new on the market.
From there we moved onto the ideas phase, where all our thoughts were laid out and screened for potential. The best ideas were harvested and we proceeded to the next step, requiring further investigation. Was it a good idea? Is it marketable and who is going to buy it? It was at this stage that we decided to create the first browser based online queue management system.
After further investigation, we moved onto the business case validation, where detailed analysis of the idea was conducted. We utilized the Sequoia Capital business plan model as a guide, with the output being a final validation of the product, to ensure the production viability.
We worked on our prototyping in co-operation with potential customers and after a trial and error process, the final product was ready to launch. And we have been going strong ever since.
The right team, in my point of view is the most important part of building a business. It is the team that will, in the end, take the idea from concept into marketable product. So you can see from our journey, that we found the right team from the beginning and that has carried us to where we are today.