Why Are Some Ideas Successful and Others Aren’t?

There are many aspiring entrepreneurs in the world with many great ideas, so why do some ideas get funded their first week on Kickstarter and others never make it off the ground?

There are many aspiring entrepreneurs in the world with many great ideas, so why do some ideas get funded their first week on Kickstarter and others never make it off the ground?

In my opinion the answer is empathy.

In order to create a successful product, business, or idea every entrepreneur has to remember that empathy is the key. In a TED talk by Simon Sinek, he mentions that people care much more about the “why” of a product than the “how” and what”. For example, Sinek explains that there are many companies that make and sell phones, however Apple is one of the best at selling phones because they are selling the “why” behind the phone, or in other words Apple uses empathy well.

Another way to look at empathy is really understanding problems. Your goal as an entrepreneur should not be to create a new product or business, your main goal should be to solve a problem. Nobody is going to care about the next shiny product you make unless it is going to benefit or help them in some way. So you in turn need to care about your target market.

Warning: just because you think you are solving a problem doesn’t necessarily mean that you actually are.

In order to have empathy, and therefore increasing your chance of success, entrepreneurs really need to study their potential market and understand what that group cares about. 

One example might be interviewing your potential market of elderly people. By speaking with them you might find that they care about maintaining the ability to walk around and staying mobile. As you listen to them you might hear them mention problems or difficulties they have trying to walk around. they might need the support of a cane, they may worry about falling, etc. You should identify a similar problem among your target market. From showing empathy and really trying to understand your market, you might realize that the actual concern that elderly people have is less of the ability to walk but of being able to keep in touch with their friends and family. Because you have taken the time to research your market you now realize that you need to create a product or service that help the elderly not feel alone and to help them stay connected with others, which could lead you down a path you would have never thought of without empathy. 

Another key part of the empathetic process is to bring your ideas or prototypes back to your target market and get their feedback. Make sure that your idea will actually be solving their problem.

I believe that empathy is one of the keys to creating a successful product or business because you will be creating the “why” or the something that others actually care about and want. Others need to feel like you truly care about and are meeting their needs. 

Although there are also other very important aspects that go into a successful venture, empathy should always be one of the first places to start.

You can learn more about about ways to succeed at uvu.edu/entrepreneurship