A tech idea’s 5 “must do’s”


As we all know, just putting a new start-up idea into motion can be a challenge. There are the typical obstacles of finding the money, time and suitable space to work and concentrate. To fending off uncertainty over the statistically high failure rates for start-ups. Though daunting, these obstacles typically have less difficult solutions, and usually work themselves out. 

After having been in the technology field for over 30 years, from engineering to sales and marketing, I have seen a far greater pitfall that tends to befall both startups and large corporations alike, relying on the strategy that “Technology will sell itself”.  Inmy experience this kind of risky thinking has proven very harmful with large consequences costing large dollars and unrecoverable amounts of time. Personally, I have seen amounts starting in the thousands, and going well into the millions all lost on that perfect tech product.

I have listed some important components to prevent such pitfalls:

Identifying the “right customer” – not all perceived customers, may actually be the right customer for the technology that you are building – finding your early adopters.

Acquiring a Tech Navigator: Having the right technology expert on your team could determine the life or death of your business. Many startups dive into a tech idea without having a qualified CTO or tech expert on their team. The right CTO will help you with navigating through the challenges of building, launching and maintaining a successful tech product.

Planning for budget mishaps – Running way past your proposed budget is bound to happen, learning how to minimize it can save your startup from early failure. Following a proven process will help ensure success – hear about “the journey of an idea” our Fruition’s 5 Steps Process.

Researching the history behind your technology, and the potential future lifespan that you have chosen. Realize it is very important to know and not guess what the future holds for what you are developing, from both a competitive standpoint and tech component view. Performing a feasibility study on your idea will prove very valuable.

Avoiding the manufacturing Dilemma – Preparing for the manufacturing phase – Underestimating the complexity of going into manufacturing is very common. Not only are costs, quality, shipping, inventory and certification frequently underestimated situations, but can be disastrous if not properly prepared and planned for. – Contact us for Tips on preparing for the manufacturing process.

For more information visit www.fruitiontechlabs.com or email Wesley at weso@fruitiontechlabs.com

At Fruition Tech Labs we provide our proprietary 5 Step process, “the journey of an idea” in the development of Tech Startups or the re-launching of any type new technology initiative regardless of the age of the business.

#feasibilitystudy #journeyofanidea #fruitiontechlabs #trueinnovation

Organizing Your Tech Ideas


     Ideas—we have a brain filled with them! Right from grade school where we are doodling sketches of random images on a piece of paper to our desk at the office where we are day dreaming about being the next greatest inventor or mad scientist. Most of the time, these ideas travel through our minds fluidly but tend to never stick, but sometimes these ideas plant a small seed, which can at times nag us until we decide to do something about it.

     For an idea-generator (that is what I call them), this is can become a daily torment. Plagued by the ideas you want to release, but you find that ideas can create questions and then questions trigger even more questions that can lead to a never-ending cycle. So what can you do as one ‘who has this crazy idea rattling around in their head’?

Take your Ideas and own them!

     What I mean to say is, don’t let your ideas just take control of you. You are the one with the ideas and you should know just exactly what those ideas and questions are telling you. First and foremost, get all or most of your thoughts down on paper, along with the questions and random nuances that accompany them.

     If possible, try to link them all cohesively together. If it helps, you can use strategies like utilizing arrows, spreadsheets, color-coding as well as several other methods to bring things together.

Look at the Big Picture

Now that you have your ideas down, time to sift through all your material and develop the general idea you want to focus on. For instance, it’s Valentine’s Day and you want to get something extra special and you know what she likes, but you need to separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.

A good way to figure out what qualifies as the big picture is to ask some of these 6 questions (who, what, when, where, why and how).

  • WHAT is your idea and WHAT makes you passionate about this specific idea?
  • WHY do people need your idea and HOW is this beneficial to society?
  • WHO is your target audience and the people you want to reach out to?
  • WHEN is your idea going to be beneficial? As in is it marketed towards the future, the present, the past?
  • WHEN do you want to launch your product?
  • WHERE do you want to establish your idea? Locally? Nationally or Internationally?
  • HOW will you get it done and is it reasonable or even feasible?

As difficult as it may be, it is crucial that you are able to find answers to such questions in order to establish the core of your idea. You want to be able to convey the general idea to your audience in a clear, succinct manner while avoiding excessive or confusing fillers.

Prioritize their Importance

     With your general idea established, it’s time to separate the remaining ideas into levels of importance. Understand that your general idea may well branch off into a whole family of secondary ideas, questions and resolutions. So now it’s time to prioritize.

     Try your best to separate everything into three categories with the following labels: high importance, low importance and neutral.

  • High Importance: This category requires the utmost care and should be addressed and answered as soon as possible. This may vary between individuals, but they may include areas like planning out your business plan, scouting for a business partner or seeking business and professional help.
  • Neutral: Anything that falls into this category qualifies as something that needs to be acknowledged and accomplished secondary to the high importance or in correspondence to the high importance.
  • Low Importance: Miniscule details, random facts and ideas go here, such like the color of the walls for the company or whether to take your company public or not. Those can be addressed in the future once the foundation has been laid down.

Leave Room for Dessert

     Lastly, it is important to leave room for errors and adjustment. Just because your ideas and thoughts are now neatly organized doesn’t mean that it will prevent your brain from conjuring up new ideas. Don’t let yourself get boxed in and get comfortable with the notion that if you alter and adjusted certain ideas, everything will fall into shambles.

     Figuring out and organizing your ideas is half the battle but nonetheless it is the beginning of the very important steps to guide you along the way. Now that you have all the pieces on the board, it’s time to play your first move.  Now go and get the help!

Branding: Leaving your Mark

     Louis Vuitton. Huggies. Samsung. Warby Parker. Etsy.

     These are all different companies with different products, but what do they all have in common? They leave an impact. Or in other words, they have a brand specific image (carefully crafted with a complex matrix of pieces), one that is so deeply embedded into people’s mind that if you were to gather a group of 100 people together to describe each individual company, you’ll find similar key words.

Branding Style

     An idea can be a dime in a dozen, but your brand lets your idea stand apart in the crowd. After all, can you imagine Kentucky Fried Chicken without the Colonel? Your brand speaks volume about your company’s culture, target audience, and personality. Building brand recognition and awareness is a key factor in separating yourself from the competition.

     For example, take Apple. It is a brand, well-known for its minimalist approach, edgy software, apple logo and perhaps most famously, the iPhone. The brand is associated with a younger, hipper crowd, as demonstrated by its Mac vs. PC commercials. Possessing an Apple product is attached to a certain reputation. It’s also associated with a higher SES (socioeconomic status) because Apple products are on the pricier end of the spectrum. And all of that was taken into consideration when they first developed their brand.

     With that said, brand is a heavy word with a lot of attachments. Keep in mind, it isn’t a one step, solve all, sort of problem. Your brand is composed of an assortment of parts and pieces, ranging from the name of your company down to the font and color you choose for your website. The combination of all these elements makes up your brand. If I were to say Facebook, the first thing that will probably come to mind is the shade of blue and white and the iconic lowercase font that makes up the logo– and quite possibly The Social Network.

     So the idea is, you have to be consistent. The last thing you want is to choose bright, loud colors and have them clash with your sophisticated script font. Consistency produces a strong brand and while it is possible to change your brand to give the company a facelift, it is costly and time consuming. Often there are only so many elements you can manipulate without the fear of losing your former audience.

     A great example is McDonalds. Just a few years back, McDonalds decided that they wanted to do an overhaul with their image. They started by modernizing their facilities and changing their menu, in hopes to make the name more upscale. They replaced the cold metal chairs and glass tables with wooden tables and faux leather chairs. Similarly, the McCafe line and calories-conscious items were added to the menu to attract a wider audience.

Finding your Brand

     Having a solid brand is the key in standing out amongst all the competition. Passion, creativity and a firm understanding of your idea and product will only get you halfway there. The other half requires a good eye, a hefty amount of research and perhaps some professional help. You want to take a good look between an assortment of brands to analyze what sort of image they are showing to the public as well as examining the brands behind your competition.

     You want to find the balance between appealing to your customers and distinguishing yourself from the competition. And nobody does this better than the long standing rivalry between Coca Cola and Pepsi. They both sell cola, but if you ask a room full of people, everybody has an opinion as to which brand they like more.

     There are a variety of things to take into consideration and some of them include:

  • Name of your company
  • Logo
  • The colors and fonts
  • Shapes
  • Tagline/Catch Phrase
  • Philosophy
  • Jingle

     Furthermore, you want to narrow down your branding adjectives to about three to five words. Think long and hard about what five words do you want people to think of when they hear or see your brand. For instance, let’s say I’m an internet café owner. When people enter my shop, I want them to think: high tech, sleek, clean, comfortable and friendly. Therefore I would tailor the various components of my branding campaign to reflect those adjectives.

     If it all seems too overwhelming, branding specialists are professionals with a good eye for detail and who possess the experience and research behind establishing a suitable brand based on how you want your company to be seen.

     Most importantly, at the end of the day, you want your brand to be something you’re personally attached to. Your brand should represent core values and a philosophy that makes you excited about the growth and future. Your brand specialist might tell you that you need a, b and c to make your brand relevant and up-to-date with the public, but you want to stay true to your values.

  Challenge the norm and let your brand speak for itself. What are the qualities and traits you want people to remember your company for?

SOLVING THE R&D DILEMMA

R&D in any organization is challenging – it can be costly and time-consuming with limited success. But effective R&D is essential – it’s a vital component of taking technology further and opening up its applications.

That’s why Fruition is making R&D more accessible to every business – from corporations to start-ups. Whether you need a prototype, proof of concept, engineering resources or market analysis to support the development of new technologies, we are here to support your vision.

We’re passionate about turning ideas into realities and have developed a process which can help innovators turn the foundation of their ideas into competitive and profitable products. We ensure the value of a concept has been clearly defined, and capable of withstanding the rigors of the market.

Fruition is in the unique position to be able to offer R&D services for a fraction of the cost of an internal R&D team to your company. We work with other professional organizations within Houston to ensure our skill and knowledge meet your needs and demands, without negatively effecting your budget.

Innovation From Within

“Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”

Are you waiting for the perfect opportunity, the perfect person or the perfect place to start?

Innovation will always demand for Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Inventors to take that unreasonable leap forward. Are they afraid, yes who wouldn’t bebutthe reason they make that leap is because they are more courageous to succeed with their mission then they are afraid to fail, while resting in their comfort zone.

As the CEO of a purpose-driven tech/business incubator in Houston, I often speak to individuals who are searching for that “100% guarantee” that they will succeed at their idea or venture. I can obviously understand their reservations, I too was in their shoes for over 40 years of my life. I also was secure in a corporate job, enjoying most of the benefits that the American Dream offers. Spending many hours on the “what if’s” of starting my own business but at the same time fearing the “oh no’s” of what may go wrong if I gave up this great job. 

What many times we may miss is understanding that the “American Dream Job” may not always offer you the one thing that psychologist say is very valuable to each and every human being, fulfillment from your purpose. In fact an article in Psychology Today states that engaging in your purpose is a fundamental component of a fulfilling life. “Human beings crave purpose, and can suffer serious psychological difficulties when we don’t have it.”

Fulfillment is met when a person engages in their purpose. This will very well help enable their Innovation or idea to take root, be develop and eventually succeed despite the numerous obstacles a person may face during the process. There are numerous examples all over the world of men and women who took a simple yet innovative idea and turned it into the “Next Big Thing”. Many times without the luxurious resources that us in western world have access to.

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting for anyone to quit their job tomorrow or throw all their savings into an idea or to rush into a quick decision. What I am saying, is that through careful thought, planning and by deriving your purpose from your idea, the perfect time for you to start may be right now and may be right where you are today. You see Innovation starts from within!

Once again as Henry David Thoreau once said ..You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”

TOO MANY IDEAS – WHICH ONE DO YOU CHOOSE?

Which one do I choose???

Below are some simple questions that may help!

I frequently meet people that have sooo many ideas, that they often have a difficult time deciding on which idea to choose first.

Also try our IDEA assessment test https://bit.ly/33ibMdP

This often can leave us frustrated and paralyzed, partially because we want to make the right choice to solve the right problem and be successful.

If you consider yourself an “Idea Generator”, I have listed 5 simple questions that may help you decide which idea may be the perfect idea to consider starting with.

NOTE: Scale each answer a number between 1-10 (1 -lowest & 10 highest)

Add up the scores and the idea with the highest points should hopefully be the best choice.

Good luck! and always feel free to reach out to us at Fruition tech labs for any questions!

NOW FOR THE 5 SIMPLE QUESTIONS :

1. Which idea sounds like the most feasible to build or start?

2. Which idea potentially has the most customers?

3. Which idea is the least expensive to build or start?

4. Which idea solves a real or big problem ?

5. Which of the ideas means the most to you?

Also try our IDEA assessment test https://bit.ly/33ibMdP

www.fruitiontechlabs.comh

Axialnics Equity Crowdfund Campaign Launches!

Being apart of Houston’s innovative community and out of all the amazing innovations, there are still countless more ideas that will be witnessed in our life time, and we believe that Axialnics a Fruition Tech Labs client company will be counted amongst them.

Our mission is to develop and commercialize a versatile, efficient, and scalable aircraft that will storm the aerospace industry. With higher VTOL (Vertical take-off and landing) capability, faster speeds, and its multi-role application, we will be able to compete more favorably in today’s current fielded technologies. 
This will be history in the making and we ask you to join us in our journey for greater innovation.  

Yesterday we went live with our crowdfund campaign on Letslaunch offering up-to $250,000 in equity. 

Today you and anyone you know can become an owner in Axialnics.
Click here to INVEST and become a shareholder!

www.fruitiontechlabs.com

Looking for funding for your StartUp?

Looking for funding for your StartUp?  Nick Carnrite (Managing Director of Carnrite Group (VC firm)) and Co-Founder and CEO of LetsLaunch (a local equity crowdfunding platform) has broken down some traditional and emerging options for you to consider:

New businesses face many challenges when getting started but perhaps none are as challenging and intimidating as how to secure the funding needed to start and grow your business. Funding options have evolved considerably over the past several years, providing business owners with more choices than ever. Founders should not just think about relying on one option, nowadays it is more about combining multiple options into a funding strategy that best suits their business needs. With  over 600,000 new businesses forming in the US each year combined with the complexity of fundraising options – we are increasingly seeing a struggle to get the capital needed to begin. As a result, entrepreneurs need to be smart and forward-thinking when putting together a funding strategy.  

The traditional way to fund a business:

With that piece of advice out of the way, there are two primary categories of capital: debt and equity. For your business, debt options may include personal loans, business loans, asset-based loans, revenue participation notes and factoring (where you sell your receivables at a discount in order to collect cash now).  Debt is great as it means you’re not giving away equity, but, at the same time, the loan must be paid back with interest and some businesses such as technology start-ups may not have the capability to generate enough of the cash flow they need with this option from day one. In addition, loans can be difficult to access or may require the business owner to put up a personal guarantee, although there are organizations that facilitate this method such as the Small Business Association.  If this is the best route for your business, take the time to find the right lending organization.

Equity options include common stock and preferred stock, as well as convertible note instruments that are initially treated as debt which eventually  “convert” to equity at a future financing event. Unlike traditional equity, convertible note instruments allow you to delay establishing a valuation for your business, which can be challenging for startups. SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) and KISS (Keep It Simple Securities) Notes are emerging securities which are less frequent but are seen as more founder friendly and are similar in some ways to convertible notes.  There are a lot of business owners who are cautious of giving away equity (and rightly so) but with the right advice on structuring securities and valuation, this can be a great source of capital, as well as knowledge and support if you find the right investors and partners.

Sources of funding for both debt and equity include friends, family, banks, angel investors, venture capital, private equity and organizations such as the Small Business Association. The accessibility of these various options will depend on the maturity of your business, your industry, and the needs of your company. Often, early-stage companies may source “seed” funding from friends, family and angel investors, while venture capital, private equity and debt become increasingly accessible at later stages as revenues grow. 

How is funding changing?

Options for funding a business and investing have evolved considerably in recent years. Crowdsourcing, which can be defined as the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, has taken the world by storm. Companies such as Uber, Airbnb and Grubhub all leverage “the crowd” to provide a specific service. 

Crowdsourcing has made its way to finance as well, where companies such as GoFundMe and Kickstarter have provided new tools to fund charitable causes and projects. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) of 2012 set in motion a series of regulatory changes that allowed anybody (not just high wealth individuals) to invest in private businesses and provided crowdfunding as an option to raise capital for small businesses. 

Online crowdfunding portals such as LetsLaunch, SeedInvest, and WeFunder offer both debt and equity options for investors to invest in your business.  Not only can this be a great way to build up a loyal customer base, test your product and get some great marketing exposure, but it can also be a great way to supplement the traditional funding strategies mentioned above.

However you choose to fund your business, take the time to work through the options (both traditional and emerging) and find the right option or combination of each to meet your business needs.

Harnessing the power of your Ideas

Ideas—we have a brain filled with them. At times, we have too many ideas when we’re trying to focus on just one of them! You may have many memories right from elementary school where you were doodling sketches of random images, up to being in a career and day dreaming about inventing the next greatest thing. You know that you cannot be the only one out there who has a stream of ideas going through their mind, constantly solving problems and inventing solutions in their head!

Most of the time, these ideas travel through our minds fluidly but never stick. But then there are those special ideas that nag us until we decide to do something about them. As an inventor, this can become a daily torment. Plagued by the ideas you want to release, you find these ideas only create questions. These questions trigger even more questions and you get stuck in a self-perpetuating cycle of self-doubt. So what can you do avoid getting stuck in this cycle, and to actually make your ideas a reality?

Take your Ideas and own them, after all they are yours! Don’t let your ideas just take control of you at will – you can’t be afraid of their power – but instead embrace their potential. Get all or most of your thoughts down on paper, along with the questions and random nuances that accompany them. If possible, try to link them cohesively together. If it helps, you can use strategies like brainstorming on the reasons this idea seems to be so important to you, plus there are several other methods to bring your thoughts together.

Once you have the ideas documented, step back and look at the broader picture. Take the time to sift through all your material and develop the idea you desire to do the most. Try separating the ordinary from the extraordinary and for a moment put aside how feasible it is or isn’t. A good way to figure out what qualifies as the big picture is to go through these 6 questions (why, what, who, when, where and how).

  • WHY is your idea so important to you and why do people need your idea?
    Understanding ‘The Why’ can help you determine the amount of passion you posses for the idea and how commitment you are likely to make. It also helps you to further determine the mission behind your thoughts. A great video to watch is Simon Sinek “Start with Why”.

  • WHAT is your idea and WHAT is the change that this idea will make for society and the people it will interact with?
    There are countless innovative ideas out there, but because the inventor may not have asked what positive change their product would have with people or society, their idea ended up being a fail.

  • WHO is your target audience – who do you want to reach out to?
    Knowing your perfect customer will navigate you towards building the right product and marketing to the right person or people. Demographic information such as their income, lifestyle, marital status and age is important but so to are their motivations, pain points and concerns. Understanding your potential customer inside out greatly affects how your product will be received.

  • WHEN is your idea going to be considered a success?
    One criteria we use is it when your first customer appreciates and experiences the values that you set out to create.

  • WHERE do you want to establish your idea?
    Locally? Nationally or Internationally? There are many markets outside of your local area that may have a greater need, a larger population of customers and many times an easier entry into market with less competition.

  • HOW will you get it done? How feasible will it be to build and launch this idea.
    Think about the resources you’d need and the team you would need to make your vision a reality. What would your team need to look like based on personality, skill set, experience and share vision.
    Try your best to separate everything into three categories with the following labels: high importance, low importance and neutral.
    High Importance: This category requires the utmost care and should be addressed and answered as soon as possible. This may vary between individuals, but they may include areas like planning out your business plan, scouting for a business partner or seeking business and professional help.
    Neutral: Anything that falls into this category qualifies as something that needs to be acknowledged and accomplished secondary to the high importance or in correspondence to the high importance. They tend to have little impact in the development of your idea.
    Low Importance: Miniscule details, random facts and ideas go here, such like the color of the walls for the company or whether to take your company public or not. Those can be addressed in the future once the foundation has been laid down.

Finally, be flexible and openminded – it’s important to leave room for errors and adjustment. Just because your ideas and thoughts are now neatly organized doesn’t mean that it will prevent your brain from conjuring up new ideas. Don’t let yourself get boxed in and get comfortable with the notion that if you alter and adjusted certain ideas, everything will fall into disarray. Figuring out and organizing your ideas is half the battle but nonetheless it is the beginning of the very important steps to guide you along the way. Now that you have all the pieces on the board, it’s time to play your first move.

Next steps:

Still figuring out your idea?

Sign-up to receive regular email updates from Fruition. We deliver useful resources and articles direct to your inbox.

Got your idea ready to go?

Take the Fruition Test to find out if its potential and get a free audit

Got your business ready to go?

Join Fruition and get ready for success as you follow our 5-Step Programme.

Who we are?
Fruition Tech Labs is a Technology and Business incubator and accelerator that provides all the business resources and engineering skills you need to start and grow your idea. We believe in an entrepreneurial ecosystem that nurtures the development of successful purpose-driven companies. Fruition offers more than advice on the fundamentals of starting up a business, we hand hold people as they develop their idea by taking them through each step of our proven 5 Step Process. www.fruitiontechlabs.com

Am I the right leader for my start-up?

Wes Okeke, Fruition CEP & Founder, shares his personal insight into how he gauges his leadership success.

“Starting a business from an idea can be very difficult but, from my own experience, what’s hardest for any founder is learning to listen and take advice from others, especially those on your team! As the famous saying goes ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’. This can apply to so many situations in our life but, in regards to entrepreneurship, I believe this is a frequent and devastating pit that many startup founders tend to fall into.

As the leader of your startup, you feel that your idea is the most fantastic idea and that no-one else has the capability to do it as well as you. You may have the best idea, you might be the only one who has figured it out so perfectly (though I doubt it) and you might also be the person with the right skill-set or experience to bring this idea to fruition, but will you be the right leader who frequently solicits input from your team, from followers, mentors or even some of your critiques?

An article by Entrepreneur published some time ago noted some of the key reasons startups fail were based on leadership, even when it came to raising funds. Either because the founder got discouraged or lost sight of their vision and gave up, or they failed to attract the right investor and partner. I can only imagine how many companies would be successful if their leaders, founders or CEO’s decided to listen more and speak less. I am sure the rate of success would drastically increase.

I jotted down a few questions that I asked myself routinely to gauge how I am doing as a founder and leader:

1. Is my focus more on success than it is on the people that work with me? 

2. Do I talk about my product or idea more than I share about the journey and my team? 

3. Do I value humility and honesty as very necessary strengths to success? 

4. How would I define success for my startup? Is it growth, progress, financial, impact or is purely financial? 

5. Am I working hard at building a culture and a brand that is appreciated both inside and outside of my business? 

6. Am I an inspiration for others ? 

7. Do I micro-manage or does my team feel empowered and have the freedom to innovate? 

8. Do I stay focused on my mission or do I wander often from the vision I have set forth? 

9. Do I get easily upset over misunderstanding or when things do not go as planned by others?

Lastly and most importantly, as my mentor and friend Tom would often say, have I left my ego at the door!”

If you would like to know more? Sign up to receive our regular Fruition insight direct to your inbox