The Handbook of Building Digital Products
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How to Use Your Imagination to Make Your Idea Big

So, you have got your big idea! What next?

If you have read the previous article on How to Find and Develop Great Business Ideas, you’d be ready with your idea definition as per the template:

Idea development template

Now, It’s time you let your big idea come out of your subconscious into your conscious mind. If you had to tell the world about your idea right now, how would you narrate it?

Unless you’ve imagined your business in your mind, you will not be able to see it manifest in reality. It won’t come to fruition.

Did you know noted physicist, Albert Einstein, ranked Imagination high on his list of essential attributes? He said, “It’s the preview of life’s coming attractions, and it’s much more important than knowledge. Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

I know some of you may think — how can I dream big? I don’t have enough funds. I don’t have adequate resources. I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t know what, where, how, why… It’s alright to feel scared now. Fear forces you to pretend. It pushes you to look for answers. It coerces you to dwell in the ‘What if’ realm. It sparks your Imagination.

What if?

Ask yourself these questions —

  1. What if I had all the money and resources in the world now? What would I innovate? (Don’t get into the ‘how’ part now.)
  2. What if my product or service were to revolutionize the way people function? How would that impact the world?
  3. What if my product or service made my customers’ experiences easier and simpler?
  4. What if I could make a solution that would cater to all strata of society?
  5. What if I used my talents and skills to serve people better?

These questions will steer your Imagination in the right direction.

NThere are 3 ways how you can imagine where your product will fit in best:

  1. Recognize the potential of a bright business venture in the future by tapping into an emerging pattern of today.
  2. oresee how a new, value-added offering can drastically change people’s lives for the better.
  3. Imagine situations where a particular business model can fit in different milieus to provide valuable services to the masses forever if tweaked a wee bit.

Let me share how I imagined (and therefore came up with a couple of my business ideas):

I got my first major entrepreneurial idea when I started thinking about how I could offer Indian television entertainment content to NRIs in the US at a feasible rate? There were two aspects to my business proposition. One — though the physical internet infrastructure in India was not conducive to running a high-speed video internet network, this space was emerging globally. Two — Non-Resident Indians were ready to pay a feasible fee for this kind of content.

Indians were ready to pay a feasible fee for this kind of content. They wanted it to be made available on-demand for them. A major part of entertaining serials was aired at night in India, but as it was daytime in the US then, most people were at work. They wanted to catch up on the lost episode(s) when they got back home. When Indian people in the US wanted to access international television in the market, the cost was so steep that barely a few could afford it. The other factor was that piracy was taking over the mainstream.

Before I quit Zee, I could foresee this emerging market trend. I started imagining the kinds of changes that could be brought about in the video world. After I quit the corporate sector, I started aggregating video entertainment content from India for the US.

There were two ways to take this business idea forward. One — I could launch this project and run it. Two — I could sell this idea to someone who could take it forward and run it as his or her own business venture. After studying the pros and cons, the market and many other factors, I realized it was profitable to sell this concept. I sold it to an international venture trying to enter a similar space. After that deal got sealed, while on my way back from the US, I started thinking — what next? I realized it was such a potent business proposition that a similar model could work in a different milieu too. This is when my second business idea was born.

TThose days, three things happened differently. First, the Indian stock market, which used to start at 10 in the morning, now starts at 9.15 am. The decision-makers and business owners involved in trading were commuting then. Business television was one of the primary sources for them to make crucial decisions on trends and opportunities that may evolve during the day. Still, as they were commuting, they had no access to television.

Those who could conduct their businesses even while they were commuting. I decided to build my new business to enable this class of people. There were three reasons why this business model would work. One — this category of people were usually chauffeur-driven; two — they were captive in a closed environment (in their car); three — they had time to spare as traffic at such peak hours was constantly crawling. That’s when I took the same concept of ‘video over the internet and tweaked it to fit this environment — the car (like it was home in the earlier case). That was the birth of AvaniTV. It became the world’s first live TV service provider in a car using the 3G network.

If my story has inspired you to reimagine and rethink your idea, it’s your turn to let your big idea come out of your subconscious into your conscious mind. If you had to tell the world about your idea right now, how would you narrate it?

Idea development template

With your Imagination, you can filter out the noises and strengthen the signal, preparing you to discover your customer, develop your ideal prototype, and build your business model.

Useful Tip:Defining your idea in the format above is to step out from your subconscious into your conscious mind to describe in a way that if you had to tell the world about your idea right now, how would you describe it?

I hope now you have an adequate understanding of what it takes to build a great idea. Follow along to learn how to filter out the noises and discover your strengths to build your dream business.

Appetals Solutions, under the leadership of its founder Ishwar Jha, an award-winning technologist, former CEO of Digital Business at Zee Entertainment, and CIO of Sony Music India, offers product development consulting to the company of all sizes. Learn more by clicking the button below.