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Idea Curator - five steps to determine if idea is good.

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

An idea that "came to you" or "came up on you" is like a little seed or a meteor rock. You want to know if it is worth anything, you want to know if it has a chance to grow into a big business.

Generally, you need to evaluate the originality and feasibility. If an idea is not original, if it has no business basis, or if you can not grow the business, throw it out of your mind. But sometimes it is entertaining to evaluate. You can try to answer the following questions.

The six steps are six questions:

Step 1: If this idea is implemented, would someone care?

Step 2: Would the person or business who care pay?

Step 3: If this is technology, is this a game changer or just a supplemental improvement?

Step 4: Where do you sell your offerings?

Step 5: Can you develop a profitable business with enough customers?

Step 6: How can you handle this idea?

Step 1: If this idea is implemented, would someone care?

Further questions you can check is the following:

  • would someone die if this idea is implemented?

  • would someone not die if this idea is implemented?

  • would some business be able to grow faster if this idea is implemented?

  • would the idea provide unique enjoyment for some people?

If any of the answer is yes, then save that thought for the time being.

Step 2: Would the person or business who care pay?

If someone or some business would care, do you foresee that they would actually pay you? would they pay you or just develop it themselves? would they just take a chance?

[Note: if it is for business, you can develop it and sell the technology to someone to save their time.]

[If someone does not care, how do you make them care?]

Step 3: If this is a technology idea, is this a game changer or just a supplement improvement?

Is this idea an "add on" to a system or is this a standalone system? for example, a wind shield wiper must be part of a car.

A game changer is something that has to do with "automation" and "simplification". For example, "electrification", "computerization" and "mobile computing" were big trends and game changers of many things.


At this point, if you answered yes to question 2 and 3, then you should move on. Otherwise you should abandon the idea.


Step 4: what industry does this idea belong?

Where do you sell it?

Can you make money or help others make money?

It is important to figure out which industry sector this idea belong, so that you can find the market. If there is no market, then you have to make a market - which is very daunting but you can ask for any price. If there is a market, then you need to compete to get in and get a good stand position, and put good products on the table.

If you can not imaging you in an industry expo with your own stand, then it is probably not worth "taking a stand", no matter how appealing the issue is.

[If you can not answer this question, then you have no understanding of any relevant marketing and it will take a very long time for you be educated. if you count on luck and just slowly develop the idea as a hobby and hope someone would give you a chance of a life time - it is a very long shot, like lottery.]

Step 5: Can you develop a profitable business with enough customers?

A business without enough customers is a dangerous high wire business. The exception is military business - where you can have one customer and still be fine. But it takes great technology acumen to reach that.

If there is not enough customer, your business will eventually not able to provide discounts to customers and you would eventually lose to competitors who compete on basis of price or on basis of scaling efficiency. Your competitors would have seen your example and get educated. They might be dirtier, richer or more experienced.

A good example is robot arm manufacturers in Germany. They developed robotic arms even for researchers. Because the market is small and closed, they can charge premium price.

Step 6: What do you do with it?

You have the following options:

  • throw it out of your head;

  • do it and execute it, focus and build.

If it is a good idea you can not build starting today, then throw it.


A good case is Westinghouse's train brake system. He developed it all by himself and took all the money he has to market it.



  • everything can be made into a business;

  • everywhere you go in business, it is crowded, new or old, lean or tough;

  • the world does not need brand new things - but there is business everywhere everyday;

  • every idea is a good idea;

  • ideas are worth nothing - you must focus and do it.

  • Veterans persevere, take the opportunity to break a bank. A newbie take a cahnce and fill in a lottery ticket.

Newbie and veteran:

  • newbie don't care about impact, fatness, and business quality;

  • newbie lingers on with all the ideas they ever had;

  • newbie does not build it but wonder if the idea is good;

  • veterans jump on good ideas, focus, spend all their own money, build, and convince the world.

Every idea is good. You need to find out who it is for and how to compel them to pay. Veterans and professionals can use a bad idea and run a business, a newbie can not execute a good business slam dunk. Ideas are not important. Implementing the idea is the trick and the art and the work.

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