- Do the simplest thing you can to try the idea. Build a prototype of some sort – use paper, or Lego bricks perhaps, but show it to someone who’s not a family member and get some feedback to help you decide if it’s viable or not. This information will help you decide whether to put more time and effort into the idea. Showing it to people also let’s them tell you what you’ve overlooked.
- Develop a customer journey map showing how your idea is used in practice. This will help you see what else might need to be put in place for your idea to have a better chance of taking off and growing. It could be that you need to find a partner with whom to work because they are the ones who pay for your service, but aren’t the ones who use your service. For example, we all use Facebook, but it’s the advertisers who pay for it.
- Know how to explain ‘why’ you are doing what want to do. If you can do this, then it is easy for others to explain your service. You need to explain ‘why’ you do what you do in a way that lets others extol your service easily to their friends. This means ‘how’ you do ‘what’ you do, should be easy to understand. But, most importantly, you need to explain ‘why’ it is important. All too often pitches cover what they do and how they do it, but don’t say why. Knowing a company’s motives makes it easier to trust them.
- Talk to people about your idea. The idea is less important than the implementation. If you keep your idea to yourself, then no one will take your idea and use it before you do. However, if you never share your idea, then you will also never see it realised. So, go talk to people about it, and get their feedback on what they think about it, and how it might be realised. There are lots of people out there, who can help you – for some people that is their job – so go find them and let them help you realise your idea.
Good discuss of startups and getting to revenue is important for both charities and others.
This week I was privileged to keynote at the NESTA Impact Investment team’s Going Digital launch with NESTA’s Katie Mountain and Isabel Newman. Katie & Isabel asked me to speak because of my fairly unusual perspective – a tech entrepreneur who’s actually worked recently on a revenue generating digital project launched by an established charity. Earlier this year I was lucky to spend 4 happy months at vInspired, working with Sam Sparrow, Hannah Mitchell & Damien Austin-Walker getting awesome microworking platform Task Squad finessed and launched.
This blog covers the key elements of my NESTA talk without the personal anecdotes and side stories I included on the night. I should also just add a point of clarification here. This blog is about charities/CICs/social enterprises launching revenue generating digital products and services; it isn’t about making charity core business more digital. You won’t be surprised to hear that I…
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