If you ask young men or women about what they’d like to achieve in life, some of them might say “I would love to have one million-dollars” yes, a million dollars! In daily life, we hear this word a lot, but have you ever thought of an idea for a business that could be worth a million dollars?
I believe that you might have faced a situation where you find an idea out about and you think to yourself: oh! I’ve thought about this before! Why haven’t I done this? who did it? Imagine that this idea was worth a million dollars. I’ve posted this question for my followers on Facebook, and one of them said she thought about the Uber model before it was out.
Think bigger than a million dollar business idea
If you’re hearing “a million-dollar idea” for the first time, you might be thinking that it’s impossible. But in the startup world we would even think of the 1-billion-dollar idea which is called “A Unicorn Startup”.
A unicorn is a privately held startup company valued at over $1 billion. The term was coined in 2013 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, choosing the mythical animal to represent the statistical rarity of such successful ventures.
Ever since the publication of Lee’s article, the ‘Unicorn Club’ term has become widely used to refer to startups in the technology, mobile technology, and information technology sectors with very high valuations. And, since then, the club has grown to 452 members -until writing this article-, according to CBInsights.
To be realistic, less than two percent of startups will achieve a billion-dollar valuation. Many factors can contribute to the creation of a “unicorn.” A hardworking team, supportive investors and mentors, identifying an untapped corner of the market and a keen understanding of what your customer base wants can contribute to future success at this high level.
Think of a business model
While building your business model, you will start by listing the main assumptions about your business then you validate the priorities and which easy way to test. Let’s take Zappos for example, their assumptions were “people would buy shoes online and people know their shoe size.” The next step was building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with good features & main functions for a product or service to test the customer’s response. The MVP could be a Landing page or explainer video which provides proof-of-concept and connects you with your ideal customers or users. iTunes bets on that users would purchase one song or the whole album. Airbnb, on the other hand, builds its model on having a couple of rooms everywhere or a lot of rooms at one place. Now, look for your assumptions again, can the opposite be true?
Everyone likes to think they are the only person on the planet with their million-dollar idea. Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 2,500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. That’s incredible. Other experts estimate a smaller number, of 50,000 thoughts per day, which means about 2,100 thoughts per hour. This too is a great number of thoughts! However, you would be amazed to discover that most of them are useless, unimportant thoughts that pass through the mind at a huge speed.
In fact, there could be hundreds of people thinking along the same lines as you are right now. To put things into perspective, consider how many times you have walked into a store or watched TV and seen a similar idea you had months or years ago now on the market. Inventors and entrepreneurs need to realize that if you have an idea, it is almost a certainty someone else has had or is having that same idea. The question is which one of you is going to do something with it?
Where to start? The First key is in “What if”. Exercise your imagination through literary responses to “what if” scenarios inspired by the world we live in. “What if you build a website to connect professional freelancers in the world?” is how Upwork.com was brought to life!
Second, Daydreaming can be an important tool for opening your imagination and creativity. When you daydream, you take yourself out of the ordinary moment and open yourself to possibilities. Naturally, you don’t want to live your whole day in a daydream world but taking moments to relax and “daydream” are small exercises that can open your imagination to new ideas and dreams. And those new ideas and dreams can help you thrive in business and in life. And isn’t that what we all want?
Ideas alone worth nothing! Great ideas don’t have value until you do something with them. It’s all about Execution. For investors deciding which startups to fund, traction is the number one priority, closely followed by projected revenue and growth. But these projections need to be backed by hard data, like a weighted sales pipeline forecasting the growth over the next 6, 12, or 18 months. For example, Hult prize – with its slogan The Power of One Idea-; Each year, issues a big bold challenge aligned with a large market opportunity meant to inspire and enable the world’s brightest minds to solve its greatest problems. A re-known and accomplished challenger issues a personal call to action, which is broadcast widely through their unparalleled network to University students in more than 120 countries. Thousands of ideas are generated per year, but which one is worth the million-dollar prize? the thing here is not about product, service, MVP or profit; it’s all about pitching! So far more than 2 million students have been empowered to solve the most critical social problems. 250,000 startup business ideas generated, 9 ideas only among 10 years’ worth 1 million dollar per each.
Ultimately, a conceptual idea locked inside your head has no value. As Thomas Edison once said:
The value of an Idea lies in implementing it.