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What Is The Unique Value Of Your Idea?

Hint: It’s a linchpin experience that makes or breaks an idea.

When an idea is pitched to me I listen intently for how it will change someone’s life. And as soon as I hear it I can’t help but do the maths on how many lives the idea will touch on a regular basis. If I don’t hear it, and instead get bombarded with a top-down opportunity analysis that misses why a person would change their day to take notice and use a product, my mind disengages and I lose interest. You see, at the heart of every big idea is a single unit of value which will determine its fate, regardless of industry or how crazy it might sound in the beginning. Serial entrepreneurs and early stage investors can often get identify each idea’s unique unit of value even though it’s often hidden by the hustle done by founders trying to excite and convince their audience that their idea has merit.

  1. The fact that this single experience is THE essential component in single actor business models (where users become paying customers) AND in multi-actor business models (where users and customers are different actors and value is monetised using a derivative currency e.g. the way Facebook leverages its millions of frequent users to generate revenue from advertisers). The latter includes marketplaces where buyers and sellers need to be simultaneously active in order for the model to create monetisable value.
  2. The fact that this experience is present at the beginning of the idea and has real potential to transcend scale. Although business models evolve over time, the experience that delivers easily addictive convenience will create (and continue to create more and more) happy users and customers as long as the experience can continue to be the focal point of a growing team.
  3. It can be easily expressed and internalised. This means that every person working on the idea, no matter their role, seniority, experience or tenure can rapidly develop a passion for why the experience matters and how they can contribute to it moving from idea to remarkable.
  4. A major hypothesis to test. A hypothesis is a proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation. Many first-time founders are afraid of or don’t understand the power of using hypothesis-led testing to validate or invalidate an idea. Crafting a compelling hypothesis is made significantly easier when a clear idea of the single experience you plan to deliver is available.
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I write about what I see building companies. Currently growing dropbio.com

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