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How do you know if an idea is worth pursuing?

This is a general question, but I will give a specific example.
Not to long ago, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and put an idea for an app, (a game based on doodling), out into the world. I put my idea on a brand new crowdfunding site specifically designed to help raise funds for the development of applications.
I got a good start, but as the time ran down I realized I was coming up short. Unfortunately, my idea was not chosen for development.
The fact that my app didn't make it could have been a combination of things, my network was not big enough, the crowdfunding platform was to new, I may have not leveraged social media effectively enough, or the idea was just simply not good enough.
So my question is, how do I know if I should try to pursue this idea? How does one know when it is a good idea to pursue any idea? Many fail several times before they succeed, but how do they know it is worth trying again?
I look forward to hearing the comunities thoughts on this.


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    Apr 8 2013: Dear Amanda,

    I see two different stages of an idea development in your inquiry:

    1) How do you know if an idea is worth pursuing: This is the due diligence step of creating an action / business plan for the idea you have. As others have mentioned, research is the key. You have to investigate and find out whether your idea is palatable: Does it solve a problem? How many people does it affect? Is it proprietary? Is there anything else on the market like it? How much is it going to cost, and how will you pay for it? These are just some of the key questions you should know the answer to in your preparation phase, before you go head in.

    2) Your doodling app example: Here you are already working on something, various options have been exhausted, and you are now asking yourself whether it makes sense to continue doing it. In my view, you should go back to your plan and review it. Do you have a contingency plan? Have you drained all your options? Are there any other options?

    I see that you mentioned a few things you have already identified as potential negative effects (new website, weak social media positioning, etc.). This is your learning experience and exit strategy. Identify all of those, and recreate your plan based on solutions to the adverse factors. If it doesn't work after that, and there is no considerable progress, you might consider abandoning the idea and moving on.

    Good luck!
    • Apr 8 2013: Thank you for the advise Stefan.
      Family and friends gave me positive feedback, but again that is family and friends.
      Putting an idea out there is definitely a learning experience! Not getting discouraged when it doesn't work is a whole different learning experience I am going through right now.
      I think you have laid out some really good questions to ask when contemplating pursuing an idea. Do you think gut feeling has anything to do with it?
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        Apr 9 2013: Sure, I hope my little analysis has helped you a bit :) Gut feeling is a good indicator in my opinion of how fired up you are about the idea; research, planning, and preparation is what you need to make it happen in reality.


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