Kelford Labs Daily: Good idea or good business?

And how to know the difference.

Kelford Labs Daily: Good idea or good business?

“Let me give three simple questions to help you challenge everything you do:

1. Is what you offer valuable (not just interesting)?

2. Is it urgent (i.e. high on the priority list for your ideal customer)?

3. Are you exceeding expectations in delivering it?”

Ton Dobbe, The Remarkable Effect

There is a vast and dangerous chasm between something being a good idea and something being a good business.

All things are interesting, but not all things are valuable.

All things are important, but not all things are urgent.

All things are delivered, but not all things are overdelivered.

Lots of things sound like great businesses, but we’ve got to challenge our assumptions and make sure there’s a business actually there, not just a fantasy.

“The most common, and costly business development mistake,” Blair Enns once wrote, “is that of mistaking interest for intent.”

No matter how many people tell us our idea is great, interesting, or amazing, we won’t know if it’s a good business until someone hands us money in exchange for the value we provide.

So before you invest in an idea (yours or someone else’s), ask yourself:

“Do I know that this is truly valuable?

“Is it truly urgent for its ideal customers?”

“Does it make tradeoffs that allow it to overdeliver for its best customers?”

And, “Do I have evidence people will pay for this, or just promises that they might?”

Sometimes good ideas are just good ideas, and only that.

But good businesses are something else.

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