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What Great Ideas Have in Common

October 6, 2014 / Blog , Features , Insight , Presentation

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A big idea is only the first step to achieving success in the world of business. The real challenge lies in convincing others to consider your plans and take you up on your offer. In other words, “ideas are a dime a dozen.” If you really want to make a difference, what matters is your execution.

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How do you plan to take your idea to the next level?

In 1962, sociologist Everett Rodgers conducted a large-scale research on how and why certain ideas spread. The results, published in a book called Diffusion of Innovations, were gathered from hundreds of case studies showing why some ideas are successful while others fail and fall into obscurity. In particular, Rodgers outlined particular factors that influence people’s decision to accept or reject ideas. If you want to see your big idea turn into a success story, ponder on these five important questions:

1.) Does your idea have relative advantage?

How does your idea compare to what is currently available in today’s market? To have relative advantage, your new product should be perceived as a step above existing standards. Think of how the iPhone completely changed how we use smartphones in 2007. In the same way, the idea you’re introducing should also push beyond the boundaries.

2.) Does it evoke a sense of familiarity?

Apart from innovation, people are also looking for ideas they can easily relate to. They’re wondering if they can use past ideas and experiences to understand your proposal.

Psychologists have long determined people tend to prefer things that are already familiar with them. Even as you push the boundaries, you also have to consider what the target audiences have become accustomed to.

3.) How simple is your new idea?

Another factor that comes into play is simplicity. To achieve success, a new idea should be easy to understand. The people you’re hoping to convince should easily make out the logic and system behind. They should also be able to tell how it would benefit their lives. An idea that’s too complex can be intimidating, and therefore harder to sell.

4.) Can your target audience easily try it out?

Something else you should consider is how effortless the target audience can interact with the new concept or product that you’re introducing. Will they be able to try it out easily?  The more individuals can test the new idea, the more likely they’ll adopt to it. As an example, think of how most musicians publish their music on YouTube for free. The video sharing platform allows users to trial their material. If the viewers happen to like what they hear, they can opt to buy the entire album. In other words, the more people can try out your idea, the more certain they’ll feel about committing to it.

5.) Can they easily observe and share it with others?

Another factor that helps an idea succeed is its observability or the noticeable results that come from trying out an idea. The more users are able to observe your product or concept, the more noticeable it becomes. This will increase the likelihood that people will share your idea to others, introducing it to a wider audience. Set your idea up in avenues that are popular and highly visible.

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Featured Image: Adam Troman via Flickr