Published 31 July 2017 Category: Compass Tips, Startup, Workplace, Business, Entrepreneur

3 Reasons Your Idea Isn’t Taking Off

You have an idea. You think it’s awesome. You get pretty psyched about it. It feels like this could be “The One”. So you begin the process of “launching” your creation to the world. You immediately start doing all the things you THINK you need to start spreading the word about your awesome new business.

You might…

  • Get a new logo designed

  • Open up a Twitter account and Facebook fan page

  • Set up a business checking account/get business cards

Then you do some more tweeting, fiddling and stategising and…nothing happens.

Nobody retweets or shares. Nobody hits your site. Nobody is talking about you. Nobody cares. This sucks. Especially when you see other startups/ideas that seemingly come from nowhere and BLOW UP. What did you do wrong? Is there any way to turn this thing around? Or is your idea just a dud?

Here are 3 reasons why your idea can’t take off.

Reason 1: “You Can’t Out-Apple Apple”
It is now a known fact that Apple no longer makes the best smart phone. The iPhone doesn’t have the most features. It doesn’t integrate and play nicely with everything. The operating system isn’t the best or the fastest - nor is the camera. The phone isn’t the most durable and way overpriced in comparison to many other phones on the market. But one look at the market and you’d have no idea. The launch of the iPhone 6 broke all previous records and raked in billions of dollars before the phones even hit the stores. If they’re not the best phone anymore, how do they continually CRUSH the competition in sales and brand value?

Simple: Apple’s competitors (Samsung and Microsoft!) try to beat Apple by being…more like Apple. For years, Apple ran successful campaigns by poking fun at the inflexibility of Microsoft computers. Microsoft then started to make parodies of these parodies. Then, Apple released the iPhone. They then released the iPad in 2010. Microsoft took a FULL two years later to come out (and it wasn’t as good.) And of course, Microsoft figured out 10 years late that opening up retail stores was a good idea.

Samsung does the same thing with the “Next Big Thing” campaign. By trying to prove they are better, they are inadvertently advertising their competition - and trying to “one up” Apple by making slight tweaks to a technology that Apple already developed. Both of these companies, despite having superior products in some cases, try to out-do Apple by just being more “Apple-y.”
Apple’s entire existence is built on witty and cool. Don’t try to be wittier or cooler. Apple’s design focus is clean and modern. Don’t try to be better at their aesthetic than they are.

Are you committing the same mistake with your idea?
Sometimes, it’s cool to differentiate yourself by being a little better in a few categories than your competition. But is that all you have going for you? So many people want to start the next Facebook. “I’ll start a new social network - like Facebook, except with a better news feed!” You’ll never win. Even if yours actually IS better, Facebook has that covered. They are already known for the news feed. You’re not going to out-Facebook them. So take a hard look at your idea.

Is it just a rehashed, barely original version of an idea that someone else already has locked down? If it is, do something else.

Reason 2: You’re scared of being disliked
Here’s what you have to realise: Playing it safe is literally the riskiest thing you can do. Purposely blending in, not being too “different,” not wanting to “rock the boat” or ruffle some feathers is the quickest road to being forgotten. Your customers have choices. They have so many choices…and one of the best ways to get their attention is to do something out of the ordinary. Outside of the lines of what’s traditionally seen as acceptable.
Just remember, love and hate usually come in equal quantities. If you have 5 people that hate what you’re doing, there are probably at LEAST 5 who think it’s brilliant - because it speaks directly to them. Focus on those people. Ruffle some feathers.

Reason 3: You’re not remarkable
First of all, let’s unpack what “remarkable” actually means.
It’s not some weird, esoteric super-quality. Basically…it just means “worthy of remark.” Is what you’re doing WORTHY of other people taking time out of their day to talk about it? Things that are remarkable don’t require the user be prodded or poked for them to share it like raving lunatics.

In Conclusion
Your idea is new. It has no market share. People don’t know about it. And they don’t care. You have to make it good that people have no choice but to talk about it. You have to be so good that they can’t ignore you. That’s how you make it remarkable. If it’s not, then it’s back to the drawing board again.