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How to tell the Difference between a Good and a Bad Business Idea?

Sometimes what seems to be a terrible idea will turn out to be a billion dollar idea, and what seemed to be a great idea end in utter failure.

I recall the story of one entrepreneur that wanted to start a mineral water company in a country that has reasonably safe potable tap water. When he first proposed the idea to his friends in the Chamber of Commerce, he met criticism and was laughed out of stage. Determined to make his idea into reality he pushed through with his plans, now his company is the number one seller of bottled waters in his country. This is an example of a business idea that seemed bad but turned out to be good in the end. Was it really just because his plan was actually good that allowed it to work, or is there more to it than that?

Let’s look at an example of a supposedly good idea: A man finds some gold in a cave, and decided to sell the gold to buy mining equipment. After digging for months it seems like the vein of gold that he had found just vanished. Disheartened he quit the mining business and sold his equipment and mining rights. The man he sold it to do not start digging immediately, he consulted experts and geologists, and he found out that the vein moved a couple of hundred meters from the original excavation site due to the ground shifting.

One more example of a supposedly terrible idea:  What if you were surfing the web and found an ad or link that told you about a low maintenance pet you will never have to feed or clean up after. Sounds great right? What if I told you the supposed pet was a Rock? You’d probably close the tab and think that that was the stupidest thing you ever saw, and you’re probably right. But a couple of years back pet rocks was a big fad and sold 1.5 million units at $4 each.

After writing this I came to realize that the difference between a Good and Bad Business Idea is the person who came up with it. The true difference between a good a bad idea lies in how you plan to execute the idea to take physical form. DO you consult experts in the field? Have you planned a way to market it to people? Is there really a market for it? And most importantly; how determined are you to reach your goal of your idea becoming reality?

Yes, there are “bad” ideas but you can easily know they are really terrible with just common sense; you can’t sell sand in the desert. But then again, can you?