Good ideas are great, but there comes a time when you have to be an execution fanatic. So put a jar in the middle of the office and every time someone has a good idea they have to pay $10 (or €10 in EuroLand) to tell someone about it.
Why do this? Because at a certain point in the life of a startup you need to focus on the problems in front of you. Good ideas, even great ideas become a confusing distraction. Its an old saw that 70-80% of your product development effort should be focussed on honing the features that are already in customers hands. Everyone loves the new new thing but most of your customers would quite like the current functionality to work just dandy.
Dropbox is an excellent example of a company who have stuck to the knitting and been 100% focussed on delivering their core vision, stupidly simple desktop to desktop file sharing. Do as they do.
So before you shout out “I have a great idea”, utilise some of these questions to triage you idea before it distracts everyone else in the company.
- Is it better or is it just different?
- What’s the effort to implement?
- Does the user need to be educated?
- What is the cost to remove it?
- Can we test its utility without building it?
- What’s the competition for this feature?
- Has a customer asked for it?
- Does it suit the design context of our service?
- How will you price it?
- Is it in the market place already?
If you can answer these questions should be more than happy to pony up the $10 to share it with other people 🙂