why it’s not my place to tell you “your idea sucks!”

Early last year I picked up a new client who were working in what they thought was an new, exciting space to create a start-up.

I didn’t really share the same feelings and thought their idea was a little bit pants, lacked some direction of who it was actually geared towards and just wasn’t a good model to work from. They were blanketing a niche with different offerings and the whole idea just seemed to lack execution and planning.

As an outsider with no interest in the niche I worked with the client’s requests to create a website that communicated their concept as effectively as possible, as well as having all of the functionality they required. I thought I could help drill down on what market to actually try and hit as a ‘micro’ niche, they were in quite a broad market and I wanted to try and help the client focus their efforts rather than sticking to the scatter gun approach they were currently considering. Although they didn’t want to focus on a specific ‘micro’ niche, I figured a way to allow them to see why picking a more focussed niche was a better idea without pushing my opinion too much. Let the metrics speak for themselves.

We set about measuring transactions. A simple metric, but a powerful one. Once several months had rolled by and the site was gaining traction, we measured the sales to see which niche was the most popular and voila! We had our market and an idea of where to focus our future efforts to gain better traction within the market.

I feel I have a vested interest in every site I create, so still have mailboxes set up to monitor for any issues with API’s or payment notifications. When I see emails come through with a new IPN it really pleases me that they’re doing so well!

I didn’t discard the client based on their idea because it wasn’t my place. Startup validation isn’t my job. It wasn’t a niche I had a lot of expertise in and even if it was, I’d never put a downer on what somebody is building.

This isn’t Dragon’s Den and I’m not out. I’m in, and I’ll help you build and ship it.

Working with new clients who are excited about what they’re creating is the best part of my job. I take this excitement and drive and to channel it into a highly functional, intuitive website that won’t be the stumbling block between the customer and the product.

If you are looking for a designer to help you ship your product or build your start-up I’d love to speak to you.