The top priority for me is to settle on ONE thing. I have a few different ideas for both software and physical products, and I believe they would all be successful if I could get the vision in my head to be a reality. Thinking it through, I need to weigh a few key elements to each of these ideas to identify the one I should put my focus on.
The first consideration will be looking at the bare minimum requirements to make a viable product. For all of these ideas, I have a “Grand Vision” of what they would look like if I could wave a magic wand and be done. The amount of time and energy required to get to that end vision is significant, so I need to think about each idea and identify the minimum features required to have a sellable product, know as the minimum marketable product.
Second, I will look at the complexity of each product, which ultimately determines the resources I will need to make something a reality. Resources include people, servers, design, materials – anything I would need to get the product off the ground. This is different for a physical product than for a website idea, and even can be different for the same type (two physical products might have very different resource needs). Complexity also increases the time that it will take to get to that minimum product feature set.
Third, I need to think about the people that I will need. Another way to think of it is, “What are the skills required to do the things I can’t do, don’t want to do, or shouldn’t do?”. This has created two different challenges for me in past attempts that I need to correct this time. First, I haven’t partnered with the right people. It’s not to say my partners were bad at what they did, but I haven’t partnered with people that were in the right place in their lives for one reason or another (in school, little kids, corporate ladder focused). The second issue I’ve had is trying to do everything I can do, whether it’s the best use of my time or not. For example, I have experience building web sites and have sunk countless hours in the past toiling away over web code to make things function on a web page just because I could. This took time away from other activities that would have been a better use of my time overall.
The last thing to consider is the market opportunity of each idea. This will directly impact the amount of money I can possibly generate and is an important consideration. With an understanding of the minimum features for a marketable product, the complexity of creating that feature set, the resources and people needed to finish the first version of the product, and the potential market (possible revenue), I am ready to start grinding on a decision.