The evolution of an idea

OK. Have you ever been sitting around with your friends or work mates, and say “wouldn’t it be a great idea if we could…?”.brain

Or, you’ve already come up with the seeds of a great idea on your own. How do you make it come to fruition? How long will it take? How much work is involved? Who is involved?

In many cases, there is already a “similar” concept in place, already working “well enough.” How do you stop that very strong inertial force, and get your idea noticed?

The evolution of an idea takes about 2 years

I contend that the evolution of an idea can easily take about 18-24 months to come to fruition, and begin gaining traction in its market space. Which market space depends on the idea’s makeup. If it’s a sales program, it’ll be closer to the 18-month figure. If it’s an actual, physical product, it’s probably going to take at least 24 months to get up and running.

“18-24 months?” you say… Why?calendar

Remember that in some cases it may even be longer – especially where regulations and safety standards must be met.

But let’s just stick with an idea for a sales program for now, since I’m a channel sales guy after all.

The evolution of an idea for a sales program then

Since I’m already busy doing my day job, it’s going to take me some time to think my idea all the way through (hopefully), do some research to see whether my idea has any merit at all. I’m going to say this process takes me about 1-3 months to completely complete and document.

And now I have to sell my idea to my boss

Now, it turns out that my boss is already busy, too. And she’s got several people on the team that have other issues to resolve, not to mention that she’s got to handle messaging upwards and downwards within the organization.

So let’s say it takes her 1-3 months to really grok my idea, and to buy into it. Now, unless she’s the CEO, she has to sell her boss too. Another 3-6 months can go by.

Now we’re 5 to 12 months into the ideation stage already, and we’re not even inside the walls of marketing and sales programs yet. But let’s say we’re successful, and the marketing department buys into the idea, and likes the research I’ve done, and believes that they can make an effective program out of it. Another 4-6 months to do all that work.


And now I have to sell it to my business partners (did I mention I’m a Channel Sales guy?)

And the channel partners already have a line card of a specific length, and they’ve already built up a knowledge base on their existing products. I have to stop them for a moment and let them know why my idea is so much better than what they are doing today. And then train them on my product, then they have to go out looking for customers to sell the idea to.

How long is your sales cycle now? With a new program, how long will it become?

Looks like even a good idea can take over 2 years to implement, doesn’t it?

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