Idea Generation

I’d like to take this opportunity to describe the Idea Generation process I went through. I don’t recommend this process to anyone with families as I almost lost my family doing this (Divorce). Speed to market is critical for this idea because both Google and facebook are moving in this direction. They just haven’t stumbled upon the solution to a known problem. This presents a wide arena of possibilities and problems that I’ll need to face.

Anyway, as mentioned before, the basic idea hit me while watching a YouTube video on “What is your real product?” The answer to that question came after about a summer’s worth of thinking. It came to me as a simple solution that I could use my simple technology to solve a problem all businesses face. This idea, or rough concept, was then refined over the course of about a week, and turned into a business concept. I then sat down and entered the actual design phase where I turned the idea into a product. This process took the proverbial 40 days and nights. I sat down and started designing the interface from scratch. But any family man that steps “out” for 40 days faces a myriad of problems.

I have a wife, 2 kids, and a grown son. All of them require much of my time and help around the house. My efforts help to keep my wife sane, and my kids happy. So – to make sure I had a family to come back to, I worked between the hours of 9PM and 3AM. For more than a month, I would go to work designing the product at 9PM and would throw in the towel when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any more, usually around 3AM. I would then get up @ 7AM to get my kids dressed, make lunches, pack up kids with backpacks, jackets, gloves, umbrellas, etc., and get them out to the bus by 8:15AM. I would then arrive at my day job by 9AM and work till 5:30PM. I would then head home, have dinner, give baths, play with kids, get them to bed, then do dishes and clean up the house. At 9PM, I would start the process all over. Weekends were different. I worked straight through weekends, only stopping to do chores around the house. My wife was understandably IRKED! to say the least.

I was bleeding out of my eyes during daylight hours. But, in the end, I created something amazing! And it was worth it. Designing every little detail as it would be seen “on screen”, gathering and reviewing competitive data, selecting key partners, and marrying it all together was immensely satisfying. And it created a fantastic display. I then turned this display into a full blown presentation.

My presentation wasn’t designed to win investors. It was just designed to show what the system does, how it works, and who gains by its use. But, to date, I have used this presentation to generate quotes from coders and gain venture capital.

I have promised my wife that I will not “head out into the wilderness” like this again for the foreseeable future. And I don’t believe I need to. And as Steve Jobs said: it’s time to Create it, Master it, and Manage it.

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