The Awesome Idea Template, An Adventure in Emojipoint Documents
I always have new ideas, and always looking for new ideas to work on. The problem is that I have too many, and I don’t keep track of them very well.
To solve this problem I created The Awesome Idea Template. The Awesome Idea Template is an Emojipoint Document*.
The point of the template is to be simple and fun, but also to make sure your idea is bound to reality in some way. Some people like to write down 10 ideas in a day, but I don’t. I fear that writing down too many ideas in a day trains you think of ideas as things to throw away like styrofoam cups.
How To Use The Awesome Idea Template
1 Visit this URL http://bit.ly/the-awesome-idea-template
2 Copy all the text (it will copy the emojis too)
3 Paste the text into a new document (I’m using Dropbox Paper Beta)
4 Share with your team, friends or anybody who can give you feedback
5 Replace each point in the document with the details of your idea
*Emojipoints Documents Explained
If you haven’t worked in an Emojipoint Document, don’t worry, because I just made it up. An Emojipoint Document is document where each point is prepended with an emoji that enhances the understanding of each point. The result is better readability, and it’s more fun and beautiful.
Let’s go through The Awesome Idea Template emojipoint by emojipoint.
The name of the idea (a cool code name, in bold). Here we use the idea light bulb emoji, to put you in the mode of the brilliant Thomas Edison.
The Description should be something short and sweet like an elevator pitch. We don’t want people to get bored, and we don’t want to create extra work for ourselves. If the idea can’t be explained simply, it might not be simple or even good.
For our Problem we use the poop emoji. Problems are like shit, they get in our way. Problems are like shit on the bottom of our shoes. If the idea doesn’t have a problem, and if that problem isn’t as clear as shit on the bottom of your shoes, then you might be delusional.
If the problem is like shit on the bottom of our new Nikes, then the Solution is like a fresh, wet lawn of grass where we can wipe the shit off. We use the celebration / party emoji, because to solve a problem is like a celebration, it’s a party.
So you have a solution, but what kind of Tech does your solution require? Is it a mobile app? A web site? A store like a restaurant? Does it require hardwares like a robot delivery service? Does it require a massive laser or a Tesla Battery? Tech is where you lay out in a couple sentences what kind of stuff you need to get the job done. Often this will put things into perspective of what kind of resources you need. You may discover that your problem / solution is great, but you have no experience in the robotics required to get it done. You may realize it’s easy af and bang it out real quick like. The floppy disc seems like a suitable emoji to represent the Tech we will need to achieve our goals, for better or worse.
It’s not that we are evil money grubbers, it’s that we want to build lasting businesses that grow and scale. We want our idea to be practical, and using our money emoji to represent Monetization is how we do this. Money is a good indicator of demand and ultimately utility. If you end up with some bullshit here, your idea probably won’t make the cut.
Competitors are other people who are building a similar product. The point isn’t to obsess over competitors but to learn from them. In the end, your customer / user is more important than your Competitor because your Competitors don’t pay you. We use the knife emoji because the Competitors are always trying to kill you and you’re always trying to kill them. Think stabbing somebody in the back and vise versa. Make a list of Competitors by name so you and your team can research and know
We use this Money Bundle emoji to represent our estimated Costs. If we need to hire somebody to build our solution, let’s say it’s a mobile app, we should write down these estimates here. Knowing your Costs. Simply writing the name of the Costs along with the amount will work here. If our project Costs too much it may not be feasible for us or we may need investment. On the other hand we may realizing that what we want to do is much cheaper than we thought and we can start developing it immediately.
We use a Clock emoji to represent the estimated Time that it will take to get the product to market. Time is one of the most underestimated things about working on projects. People think that if they can save a couple grand on a cheaper developer that they are really smart, but nothing could be more further from the truth. Managing Time on a project. Actually all of the points in this emojipoint document are somehow related to time. In our Time emojipoint we estimate how much time, in weeks, days, months. I strongly suggest that you’re building an MVP and thinking of quick and dirty. As Reed Hoffman says “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late”.
Disadvantages are similar to the Threats part of SWOT analysis. What are some of the down sides of building a product like this? What are the risks? Could another company simply roll this out like a feature? Is there something that could happen in the market that could obsolete your idea? Think of how Uber rolled out it’s Uber as a service platform and will most likely crush a lot of these niche delivery services. Hard to compete with that. Make a note of what you see as some of the Disadvantages. This is where group intelligence can come in handy, because other people might see things that you can’t.
What are the upsides of this idea and where is the real Opportunity? This could be an emerging trend you see, the right place at the right time kind of thing. It could also be a unique opportunity for your team, for example if they are all robotics experts and the idea is about building robots. It could be that you have a unique patent. This is similar to the Strengths in SWOT analysis.
We use the money bundle with wings to describe the Market Size that this idea could potentially capture. I like this one, especially working with developers who always seem to come up with sweet projects that don’t make any money. I would want to work on a project that has big potential to grow into something big. A simple estimate in thousands, millions, billions will do.
We use the heart emoji to write down people who Love this idea. Could be people on your team or friends or anybody online that wants to “endorse” the idea. This makes a lot of difference, especially in the beginning. People who love and encourage ideas breath energy into them.