There is a happy place between paralysis by analysis and doing without thinking. In fact, doing without thinking is arguably riskier because you can waste time and money making mistakes which could have been avoided with some good spadework beforehand.
Before you launch your product at the world, start by running through this checklist:
- Identify similar offerings & research if they have have struggled commercially. Find out why. Are you about to make the same mistakes?
- Will you be competing against a more established company in this space or not? If not, why not? What do they know?
- Talk to a knowledgeable adviser about your target audience, distribution channel, or business model. Are there invisible risks?
- Map out the process for a single transaction of your product. How will your target audience hear about your product? How will they buy it? How will you handle a problem with the product?
- Research the competition. Look at financial statements for companies in your product area. How do they generate revenue? What was their initial outlay? Are you missing an element to compete? Do you have a realistic estimation of what it will take to get to market?
- Create a proposition for how you will make money, and describe it to a savvy friend or trusted adviser. Ask them to take your proposition apart! It’s not easy hearing someone poke holes in a long-held vision, but it will help you perfect it.
And then read this incredibly inspiring article about the Shake Shack, which went public today on the New York Stock Exchange!
If you want to read some more, here’s what I’ve got on my Kindle (some are free with my Kindle Unlimited subscription!):