Having a great idea doesn’t always guarantee you success. Being first to market doesn’t always guarantee you success either. What does work is something called implementation. The better you implement, the better your chances of success.
Implementation is bringing your viable product or service to market with sufficient consumer awareness and confidence that your business becomes sustainable. There’s a lot of meat in that one sentence, so let me break it down for you, step by step.
Implement means to do something. Take an action. Most businesses never get off the ground because the would-be entrepreneur never hatches his idea. Implementation is a leadership skill and leadership is crucial to the success of any business.
Viable product or service means good enough to own from the customer’s perspective. Not crap, but not perfect either. Perfection may not even be possible. If you’re a perfectionist you will go broke before you ever go to market. Refinement is possible and that comes over time and usually with feedback from the customer.
Consumer awareness and confidence means marketing to attract prospects and persuasion to convince them your product or service is the best thing since sliced bread. That’s when they buy and the resulting cash flow makes your business sustainable.
Now this is really a simplistic overview. Implementation is more like hundreds of little things, but right now we have enough of a foundation to move on to …
A history lesson
This is not a story about entrepreneurship. This is a story about two big corporations. But I want you to focus on the implementation of their ideas.
Back in 1975 Sony introduced Betamax, a 35 pound box of analog electronics and mechanical devices that allowed consumers to record their favorite television show onto a cassette tape. One year later, JVC introduced VHS, a rival format and Betamax began a long downward spiral into obsolescence. Why? JVC’s better implementation!
Most people agree Sony made the better product. Betamax video quality was superior to JVC’s VHS. So Sony was able to satisfy the technical purists, but JVC seemed to satisfy the the rest of the world.
The JVC design was simpler, making manufacturing easier and with fewer parts. Fewer parts brought the weight down considerably, bringing transportation costs down. And the simpler design was an incentive for other electronics companies to license JVC’s technology.
But sometimes the simplest of decisions at the corporate level are the ones that resonate most with consumers. A Betamax tape held one hour of recorded video, the perfect length for a TV show. The VHS tape held two hours of recorded video, the perfect length for a movie.
It didn’t take long for video rental stores to pop up in nearly every city and town with a sizeable population making the VHS format the clear favorite. One year after JVC launched VHS, Sony released its own 2-hour version of the Betamax tape, but it was already too late. JVC had won the war through superior implementation.
Some dos and don’ts
Got a great idea? Don’t be so in love with it that you want to protect your idea from what you perceive as competition. That’s just crazy! Collaboration is the name of the game. No entrepreneur ever became successful on his own. Teams of entrepreneurs succeed. Single entrepreneurs with solid mentors or entire support communities succeed. Most importantly, entrepreneurs flush with capital succeed. Investors want to see how you’ve implemented your idea. Work with them and they’ll work with you.
Get your idea out into the marketplace. Did you notice that in writing this blog post I didn’t go into a lengthy explanation of what implementation is, even though it can incorporate hundreds of little actions? I gave you a few key points (just enough so you’d get the gist of what I’m talking about) and then I moved on. Do the same with your idea. Don’t get bogged down with the little details, but do address them when they become important.
Now let the testing begin. Your idea might fail as you begin to implement it, but that’s not the end of the world. You might have to go back to the drawing board, but now you’re that much closer to understanding what really resonates with customers.
Take a look at the competition in the ridesourcing space as an example. Uber is the name that’s become synonymous with using your smartphone to hail a private car instead of a commercial taxi. But they weren’t the first company to do this. Others came before and quickly faded away. Their implementation sucked! Then for a while, there was only Uber. Now there’s Lyft and a host of other companies. Who will win and who will lose? Keep an eye on how each company implements their ideas.
It’s always about The Three 10s
It doesn’t matter how small the idea or how big the company that implements it, the success of any venture always boils down to The Three 10s. People say “yes” when they’re totally in love with you, your product and your company.
This is an immutable law of my Straight Line Persuasion System.
All the best,