We’d love for everything to go according to plan. For things to have a clear starting point. For things to finish when they’re supposed to. We’d love for reality to follow the same linear line we drew in our plans. Unfortunately, that rarely happens.
Coming up with ideas, testing them, validating them and launching them is no different. The process is rarely linear and almost never goes according to plan.
We’d love to identify the people we want to serve. Find out what their problems are. Come up with ideas and solutions that solve those problems. For them to line up waiting on our launch day. And we’d love for those steps to happen in that order.
There’s nothing wrong with those steps, it’s just that winning products and businesses rarely follow them in chronological order.
The reality is that our minds wander through the day, and we might suddenly end up with an idea stuck in our head. At our core, we’re idea machines. Think about the last time you took a shower: the magical place where we’re bombarded with ideas. I’d bet that as your fingertips made their way through your scalp, your mind took a tour at the idea factory.
Most of those ideas aren’t necessarily ones that solve problems we’ve set out to solve.
And that’s fine.
It’s ok not to start at step zero. Reality doesn’t care about our plan. However, It’s on us to take a moment and answer three questions before committing to an idea:
- What problem does this idea solve?
- Who has that problem?
- Do I want to serve the people that face that problem?
We can then decide to give that idea more of our time, park it for later, or just dismiss it.