Ideas sculpt the world, but in the beginning, it can be difficult to see their potential. Too often we find ourselves wondering whether or not our ideas have true value. It is easy to see how a good idea can transform a business or change the way that the world operates when it comes from an external source—but what about your ideas? What about the ideas of those around you? We explore what makes an idea truly valuable and the potential impact it can have.
How do you determine the potential value of an idea?
When you hear someone mention a million-dollar idea, what do you think of? Every idea can serve a different purpose depending on the context and timing. Something might not seem like a good idea until you see it in action. More importantly, different kinds of ideas can be powerful in their own way.
The average person can automatically see the value of a great product idea. Seeing someone come up with a product that has an obvious and immediate benefit tends to make a lot of sense to us, particularly if we can see how much money someone has made on it.
The average person doesn’t have the skills that they need to do everything they want to do by themselves. An idea for a new service can be as simple as offering live help with a Turbo Tax order, or it might be something designed to simplify a common process like grocery shopping, which can be seen with DoorDash’s grocery delivery.
Most people immediately see the value in a product or service because it can yield instant results. We see someone selling a product and learn how they have raised millions of dollars. The value is simple and clear. We use a service that revolutionises our day, and we understand how powerful that can be—but innovations can be just as powerful.
Ideas for innovation don’t always seem immediately valuable to us because they aren’t at the time. When someone comes up with an idea designed to drive innovation, it is almost always a gamble. In our minds, it is easy to look at an idea like this and deem it less valuable. This is a mistake. The reality is that innovations can lead to even better outcomes than some of these other idea types. Simple innovations can boost sales, increase conversion rates, and make for happier employees too.
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In a lot of cases, the most successful product and service ideas are born from innovation. Rather than simply trying to sell a product or service, a person comes up with a product or service that innovates a process or experience. The way this presents itself is different in every industry, but the impacts are lasting.
In 2009, Riot Games decided to create a more complex video game than the other popular games on the market. They wanted to create a standalone game that pulled players in and encouraged team play in a more engaging way. Their goal was to revolutionise the video game industry with a few other growing games by stepping away from existing play styles on the market. Today, League of Legends is estimated at 25-billion dollars and is leading the billion-dollar esports industry all because they decided to make something better.
Ideas with value often align with company goals
To understand the value of an idea, we must consider the different kinds of value that an idea can bring. A great idea is often created in pursuit of a goal, even if the person who came up with it doesn’t realise it just yet.
Making Life Easier
One of the most identifiable examples of value is an idea that makes a process easier. As a society, we are always looking for ways to simplify how we do things. Meal kits and video streaming are both examples of ideas that make our lives easier, but the same can be said for something as simple as a Ziplock bag. Companies will also seek out ways to make employee lives easier, which can have great results.
For most of us, it is easy to see value when there is a dollar sign attached. Increasing revenue is almost always a potential outcome when it comes to new ideas. A new idea can boost sales and draw more customer interest, leading to even more outcomes down the line.
Sometimes coming up with a way to save money can be just as valuable as boosting sales—and the two can be connected! An idea to cut costs can help you to offer more affordable services, or just result in less overall spending compared to sales.
Creating ideas with value
Not every idea will be a life-changing revelation. Some of the best ideas can seem simple at first and have unexpectedly great outcomes. However, adopting the right approach can help you to come up with powerful ideas that can change the world for the better.
To create valuable ideas, focus on improvement in every aspect of your life. You might think of ways to make your job easier at work or to quickly make more waffles for your family at breakfast. As long as you think of ways to make the world better, you will be right on track.
Ideas are what build the world and make it better, and we can all be a part of it. Sometimes, even the simplest idea can have a lasting impact. For this reason, it never hurts to keep an idea journal or just jot down notes on your phone. You never know just how much value you can bring with one simple idea.