What do you do when you come up with what you think is a genuinely new idea for a business, product or service? Inventions, as we all know, are 1% perspiration and 99% inspiration, so you probably still have one foot in the starting blocks even though you have a great idea.

Maybe it’s such a great idea, so obvious that when you make it a success people will say ‘that’s so obvious, why didn’t I do that?’. Maybe you don’t know if it’s been done before and you’re anxious to get it off the ground before someone else who’s better resourced and financed than you comes in .

I’m not an expert in this area, as I tend to help people scale their start-up, which is a step or few beyond what I’m describing here. Nevertheless, there are two things you can assess pretty easily. First, does this thing, or something close to it, already exist? Second, is there a market for it?

If it doesn’t already exist, it’s often a good indicator of viability if your idea dovetails into some of the emerging mega-trends. You need to look out for articles like this one from people who know the field. Who knows, you might be nicely aligned with some of the future ‘big things’. There’s no guarantee that someone somewhere isn’t already developing precisely your new idea, and you could argue that if it’s been identified as an emerging trend you’ve missed the boat, but who knows, there might be room for more than one player in the truly hot areas.

Sometimes it’s a genuinely new idea that there isn’t a market for, and we’ve all had those, probably several of them. And perhaps it’s a genuinely new idea that we don’t have time to work on, because of other commitments. I had a genuinely new idea about two years ago. I researched it and nothing like it existed, which amazed me, because it seemed so obvious. Two years on, I’m still working on my idea, and it still doesn’t exist.

At some point, you have to forget the genuinely new idea and move on, or go for it. Nothing ventured…