Getting good ideas off the ground


Lisa Stutz



Illustration, Ideen und Erfindungen

Have you got a business idea you’d like to get up and running? Find out if your project has a future by answering the following questions honestly.

Can you explain your idea to your grandmother?

Are you hugely motivated and could spend hours talking about web-based microorganism measuring? So far so good! But you should also be able to explain your idea in just a few simple sentences – or preferably in just one. If your target audience doesn’t understand the product or service, they simply won’t buy it.

What do you need to get going?

A team? 100,000 francs? Or someone to design your website? Chances are, you won’t be able to do everything on your own. The secret is to know where you need help. Team up with partners who complement your strengths. Be honest to yourself and to everyone involved: What do you do well? What do others do better? 

Is there something that makes your idea unique?

Focus on your idea’s USP: the unique selling proposition that sums up what sets you apart from the competition – and convinces your target audience to buy from you. Your USP could be that the whole process works much faster with you, for example, enabling you to help the customer save time.

How will you finance your undertaking?

Every project needs start-up financing. It’s best to divide your idea into thematic sub-projects to simplify the financing process. The necessary start-up capital is often made up of multiple smaller contributions – now you can start looking for investors who will be attracted by specific individual parts.

Is there a need for what you are offering?

This is the essential aspect of any business idea – there must be people (or companies) who need what you have to offer. Also, they must be prepared to pay money for it. Don’t rely on your subjective feeling on this subject, ask your target audience. You can do this in person, or via an online survey.

Do you love the subject enough?

Hand on heart: Are you so excited about your idea that you’d happily devote whole nights and weekends to it? Do you love web-based microorganism measuring so much that you could spend years of your life on it? Even if the big earnings might take a while to materialise? It takes a great deal of passion and vision to get an idea off the ground. If this is what you have, you’re on the right track.

Does the product or service already exist?

It may well be that someone else already had the same idea. It’s important to do an accurate market analysis in advance. Is no one else offering anything comparable? Congratulations – your idea really is an innovation! But you should still consider the question of why no one else is doing it. Are there similar offers around? Don’t be discouraged, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Das Handbuch für Pionier*innen.

Cover of the «From 0 to 100» handbook

The handbook for pioneers

If you've got a special idea – one that might benefit society as a whole – then this handbook for pioneers will help you get your idea off the ground and go about the right things the right way. It's utterly practical. With a whole array of inspiring tips and specific tools. Above all, it includes all the experience that other pioneers have acquired through their projects. Its twelve chapters contain handy tips, concrete advice and suggestions, as well as loads of «0 to 100» moments that demonstrate what a true pioneering project feels like. In other words, those little boosts of energy that reveal what gives you and your idea that crucial lift and spurs you on to big things. From 0 to 100!

The book will be available at bookshops from 25 January 2022.

Photo/stage: GettyImages

Your opinion