Converting Ideas into Products
Marketing and entrepreneurship have become one of the world’s most promising fields. Given that Elm seeks to enrich knowledge for the future, a special webinar was introduced on a monthly basis to address priority topics by hosting top-tier experts who share their experiences and career journeys. It was our pleasure in this “Elm Webinar” to host Dr. Mohammed Al-Rukayyan, former CEO of the Digital Transformation Unit, and Chair of Squad Partner specializing in investing in start-ups and implementing business accelerator programs and institutional innovation programs via webinars (live broadcasting).
Idea Development Stages
Generally speaking, raw ideas are derived from the imagination of their owners and cannot be converted into a real commercial opportunity until they become profit-generators. The danger behind commercial opportunities is that they are subject to theft. As ideas become widely known, they can be developed and improved. Meanwhile commercial opportunities can turn into a product or service once they generate added value to the targeted customers. At this stage, businesses are developed and the decision is made to change the product into an entity with an added-value. Staff and management are also arranged. Following that, the product begins the Enterprise Stage in which its owner needs to be careful regarding the cost incurred when the product moves from the production stage to the enterprise stage, and to consider cost suitability vs. the product.
Opportunity Assessment Elements
It is important to ensure that a commercial opportunity is applicable and that an idea can be turned into a product through the following elements: (1) alignment with the leadership hierarchy which refers to the product/opportunity owner’s desires, attitudes, and dreams, which must align with the commercial opportunity, (2) reasonability of the implementation difficulty level, (3) the value generated by the opportunity that will be unique, and (4) the targeted audience’s purchasing power.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
It is recommended that the candidate product is first marketed with a prototype. As such, it can be tested on the targeted audience with the least possible expense and can be produced with the least production costs that can be covered by the company. The MVP should be developed quickly and within a short period of time.
Utilization of Social Media Platform
Before promoting a product on social media platforms, it is crucial to precisely identify the targeted audience, and their activity on social media platforms (for example, Twitter is the most visited platform in the Kingdom). It is advisable to avoid establishing independent apps for the product, given that the targeted audience will be less motivated to download these apps if there are multiple competitors.
Proof of Concept vs. Feasibility Study
It is important for the entrepreneur to monitor and measure the performance of their product in the market through a “proof of concept,” which differs from the well-known feasibility study. The latter refers to a financial plan with a business model, whereas the former refers to evidence of the product's positive or negative performance using data. For example, the number of followers or reach, and number of clicks on the product link.
Start-up Business Model: 4 Key Elements
Unique or added value
Targeted market for the added value
Financial issues: source of revenues and expenses