A Value Proposition

Want to know the easiest way to be successful?  No its not a crappy get rich quick scheme, and it doesn't involve closing your eyes and hoping that something will magical appear.  Instead its a very simple, tried and tested technique that's been used since the dawn of mankind.

So what's the secret?  Well its as simple as:

Build something of value

Look at the most successful companies in our space.  Google, Apple, Microsoft.  Why are they doing so well.  Its not because of fancy marketing (Microsoft's horrible marketing is proof of that).  They have built products that quite simply, we couldn't live without.

Why Value?

If you were to take your blog/product/service away, would people email you complaining?

This is question I try and answer when creating a product.  I do so because I believe this is a good way to measure the concept of value.

Products that people can't live without are destined to succeed.  They basically sell themselves.

A copy or clone of a website is never going to succeed.  Time and time again, people have tried, yet pretty much all have failed.

A Difficult Conundrum

So is it easy to build something of value?  For some people, they hit upon an idea which is just brilliant.  For others, its a constant search which never proves fruitful.

Heres the problem:

A concept is often only realised as being valuable after its created.

Its extemley difficult to predict if your concept will provide value to others.  You can take a good guess, and with experience more often than not you will end up hitting the mark.  But even the best fail sometimes (The Apple TV?)

Dive Right In

Due to the fact "something of value" can be a hit and miss affair, its often best to dive right in.  My startup mentor gave me this great advice:

release early, release often.

Are you holding back on an idea, afraid that its not quite ready?  Release it!

It almost feels unnatural to release a product or concept that you believe is unfinished, but entrepreneurs have used the "release early, release often" mantra over and over with great success (The iPhone?)

Releasing a product out to the world will also begin a never ending cycle of feedback.  Its this feedback that will help shape your product.

So whether your building an app or just a blog, release it out to the world.  Get feedback and improve.  Don't be afraid that someone will steal your idea, its already been thought of by 10 other entrepreneurs.

In Conclusion

Look at what you're creating right now.  I'm sure, if you're in the lifestyle design or productivity space, your thinking about launching some type of product.  And ask yourself "will people be able to live without this?"  If you even come close to creating a product of that magnitude, it will be a success.

Photo by - –nathan

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