Evaluating Business Ideas

Success is About People, Not Ideas

Written by Chukwuma Asala for Gaebler Ventures

What is the bottom line with evaluating a business idea or service? The media has a way of placing successful people on a platform that no one else can reach.

Great basketball players like Michael Jordan are supposedly just born great.

Success Is About People Not Ideas

Incredible actors like Jodie Foster were blessed with a talent that made their ascendancy into the world of acting effortless. Bill Gates, the founder and CEO of Microsoft Inc., was just one of the "lucky" ones to capitalize on an industry that still had a lot of room for innovation.

The problem with this type of thought-process is that it puts too much emphasis on the end result and less on the person. Michael Jordan was a great basketball player but he worked harder than any other basketball player during his time. Jodie Foster had so many setbacks in her career that developed the mental toughness she needed to be the incredible actor she is today. And we all know Bill Gates dropped out of one the best colleges in the country to pursue his dream and almost got disowned by his mother for it.

What does this have to do with evaluating a business idea? Absolutely everything. Evaluating an idea is not something you can quantify. There are no parameters that must be met for an idea to be given the okay by the evaluating business idea board of trustees. An idea is simply as good as the commitment the person is willing to put forth towards seeing it turn into a finished product. Every product or service that we use today started out as an idea that only one person believed in enough to take action. The only reason we know about these products now is because the person also had the commitment to see it through. There are countless stories of great inventors like Thomas Edison, who went through almost one hundred filaments before discovering the light bulb. Henry Ford's very first vehicle that ran on diesel was criticized because "the chickens" got scared anytime it drove by the farms. Imagine where would be today if those two visionaries had little minds of their time steal their dream.

The bottom line is this: if you have an idea or in a position to evaluate a business idea for investment opportunities do not focus on the product or business or idea, focus on the person pitching the idea. The person's attitude about his or her product, belief in himself, and vision for what he sees the business or product doing for consumers in the future will tell you everything you need to know about the product. People who are fanatical about something become successful. Lukewarm people who have great ideas accomplish nothing because people need to buy into you first before they even consider your product.

Chukwuma Asala is an international student from Nigeria who is studying to earn an MBA from the State University of New York in Albany. He has analyzed more than 20 industry case studies throughout his education thus far, and hopes to bring some of his business knowledge to Gaebler.com.

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