Are you a dreamer? Because if you have not spent hours imagining your business in your head and if it does not occupy every second thought, you’ll not be able to see your dream manifest into reality. In the previous article you zeroed in on your business idea now let’s decipher the path to making it a reality.
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.”
Some of you may think — how can I dream big? Funds may not seem enough, and it may seem that you don’t have adequate resources. The starting point also might seem uncertain. What, where, how, why are some words that perplex you, but it’s alright to feel scared and unsure. Because it pushes you to look for answers and coerces you to dwell into the ‘What if’ realm which then helps spark your imagination.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- 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.)
- What if my product or service aimed to revolutionize the way people function? How would that impact the world?
- Will my product or service made my customers’ experiences easier and simpler?
- What if I could make a solution that would cater to all strata of the society?
- Will my existing talent and skills help me serve people better?
These questions will help stir your imagination.
Where does your product fit?
There are 3 ways of how you can imagine where your product will fit in best:
- Firstly, recognize the potential of a bright business venture in the future by tapping into an emerging pattern of today.
- Secondly, foresee how a new, value-added offering can drastically change people’s lives for better.
- Lastly, imagine situations where a particular business model if tweaked a wee bit, can fit in different milieus to provide valuable services to the masses, forever.
Let me share how I came up with my first business ideas:
My first significant entrepreneurial idea stemmed from the thought of 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 yet not conducive to run a high-speed video internet network, globally, this space was emerging.
Two — Non-Resident Indians were ready to pay a feasible fee for this kind of content and wanted it to be available on-demand to them.
The serials aired in India during late evening hours when everyone in the US was 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 only a few could afford it. The other factor was that piracy was taking over the mainstream.
Before I quit Zee, I could sense this emerging market. I started imagining the kinds of changes that could revolutionize 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 on and run it as his or her 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 capitalist called Mela.
After finalizing the deal, on my way back from the US, I started thinking — what next? I realized it was such a powerful business proposition that a similar model could work in a different milieu too. It was how my second business idea was born.
The story goes on
Those days, three things happened differently. First, the Indian stock market, which used to start at 10 in the morning, now began at 9.15 am. The decision-makers and business owners who were actively involved in trading were commuting at that time. Business television was one of the primary sources for them to make crucial decisions on trends and opportunities that may evolve during the day, but as they were commuting, they had no access to television.
I decided to build my new business to enable this class of people—those who could conduct their businesses even while they were commuting. 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 always 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 3G network.
It’s time to take the next step — how do you imagine the brilliant idea that’ll help you to become a successful entrepreneur.
What’s your Big Idea?
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?
With the use of the tools and guidelines outlined in the Ideation chapter, you will be able to filter out the noises and strengthen the signal which will prepare you to discover your customer and develop your ideal prototype, along with building your business model.