I’ve got a great idea for an app

We’ve all been there.  An idea pops into our head and we start counting our dollars immediately as we think about how successful our new “app” is going to be.

Then we proceed to get feedback from all the wrong places or find out we’re too late because there’s already an ‘app for that’.

Don’t worry if this occasionally happens to you.  I specialize in this stuff and today it happened to me.  In fact, it happens all the time.

What happened today was talking about setting up the registry for my upcoming wedding with my fiance.  At the moment, we are ‘digital nomading’ so setting up a registry for gifts doesn’t really make a lot of sense because where would we even send gifts?

So I get a great idea in my head about building a website that allows you to accept gifts as currency without needing to send any stuff somewhere.  It could just be money that we can use to buy the stuff later when we do have a place to put it.  Great idea right?

Well I did some quick Googling and found Zola which has the exact feature.  Check out the site it’s pretty neat, you can list ‘funds’ for things you want to buy (trips, kitchen stuff, etc.) and people can contribute to that.  Eventually you can move the funds into a bank account and use it to buy the stuff later with cash.

Long story short, we’re using it so I’ll let you know how it actually goes.  However, the more important point I want to make is to not let finding a version of your idea in the wild discourage you.  In fact, it actually validates that your ‘idea’ probably has some merit.

What you should do instead it channel excitement about and idea into learning more about the potential problem it might solve for a specific target market and use that to conduct discovery.  Part of that discovery can include testing out existing products to see how well they work.

Don’t get excited about the idea.  Get excited about the problem it might solve.  Then, go find out how many people have that problem and whether or not they have a good solution for it.  If they don’t, you might be onto something.

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