Five Minutes With Jack Ramblings Of An Insane Internet Marketer

July 23, 2010

Episode-18- Problems + Solutions = Opportunity

Filed under: Podcast — Tags: , , , — JackSpirko @ 1:26 am

That is the the formula for a business, well it is actually (P+S)*W+M=B

Okay I will get off the algebra but what that formula means is take a problem (P), find a solution (S), multiply that with hard work (W) and add marketing (M) and you get a Successful Business (B).  The real problem that I have with so many would be entrepreneurs is they think an idea in an of itself is a business.  I can’t tell you how many business people (on and off line) have come to me with an idea and wanted my input and investment absent of a business plan, a process, a product and any thing approaching a system.  The really annoying ones are the ones that swear you to secrecy and want you to sign a non disclosure agreement.

Even some of my friends seem to do this,they bring me an idea, expect me to develop it and cut them in on the action for blessing me with the thought itself as though it is even original.  One guy’s “idea” was pre oiled pads for lubricating a grill (already for sale in Home Depot and he wanted me to swear to secrecy), another “friends” brilliant idea was a special way to find an apartment and this guy wanted me to sign a non disclosure, his “idea” was far less effective than apartmentfinder.com which already exists of course.

The fact is ideas are a dime a THOUSAND, I have more good ideas than time to work on them and an idea is nothing but a thought, the hard thing is to understand the concept existed before anyone thought it!  The wheel existed before the first stone cutter made one!  Ideas are powerful but they are nothing more than a “thought form”, you don’t own them, they don’t belong to you.  To own a concept, a system, a business, a patent, etc you have to bring the thought form from the dream world into the materiel, you have to create it.

So while finding an “idea” is great you will do a lot better to find your passion, seek a problem that it can address and get on with creating a material solution and marketing the living hell out of it.  Remember that the next time you hear the moronic statement, “so and so stole my idea”.

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    What steps would you take to see if solution is marketable?

    One of my sons came to me with a simple widget he developed. He saw a need for a widget that did a specific thing, he searched and no one made such so he created his own.

    Major component is a simple circuit board, to manufacture and sell cost effectively would require a place that prints circuit boards. It is simple and many could easily make their own after seeing his. A simple inexpensive widget in a narrow field.used by those developing much bigger widgets.

    His passion is researching and developing those bigger widgets, working on his widget phd this fall and does his own independent research for fun. Marketing widgets isn’t his passion.

    Not having an existing widget company in place, and since it is fairly simple, low profit unless produced/sold in high volume, likely not a good use of time/resources. Not sure that is a true statement, but our best uninformed guess.

    Hadn’t thought of ebook angle, in this case, describing what it does is enough for widgets makers to make own without a diagram. He could make a video of widget and share freely for added exposure.

    Question is what steps do you take to determine if solutions are marketable?

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    Build a page selling the widget before it exists, make the buy button go to a “notify me when available” order form, write the sales copy as though you can buy it today.

    Track three metrics

    Click thoughs to the “buy page”
    Total number of people that register
    Total traffic to the page

    With that you should be able to gauge marketibility. Spend about 500 dollars in PPC with google to get targeted traffic. It may be 500 lost but if the product is a flop it will save you thousands by not investing in something that doesn’t have a market. Oh and make sure to price it on the sales page.

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    Awesome.

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    🙂 Thanks, that should work for any widget.

    He saw a need, searched online, would have bought if he saw such for sale, as more convenient than making own.

    Now to see what it’d cost to make and how much to mark up for advertising and profit, suppliers.

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    Check out a book called “the new business road test” for ideas on how to check feasibility of a business..

    Also google something called Arduino, it’s a way to make widgets easier to manufacture.

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    Btw, there is an article on how to make/sell/license your inventions in the upcoming issue of Interesting Times called “So you want my lifestyle: mad inventor”. Stay tuned for that.

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    @AHA will pass on the info. Whether this son does something with his simple widget or not he will be developing bigger more complex widgets throughout his life, either for some other company or himself.

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