How to know which ideas to pursue

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A Sitepoint reader emailed me with an interesting question. He comes up with all sorts of great ideas and wants to know how to figure out which to pursue.

It’s an important question since we have limited time and money.

Here’s some advice:

1. If the idea is really good, you can find an angel to invest in it. By asking an angel for help, you vette your idea to see if it really is good and also build leverage to do more ideas.

2. Or, you can find sponsors to pay for the idea in exchange for advertising. Some book publishers write compilations by various experts and charge those experts up front for the books to be produced. The experts write a chapter of the book. So the publisher puts out no money, gets a great book, and the experts are happy because they get to be in a book. With a website, I know a company that gets sponsors before launching a site — at a charter rate of course.

3. There are only two types of ideas: Good ones and bad ones. The smartest businesspeople sort their ideas into those piles. Then, for the good ones, figure out which one can make the most money for you with the lowest investment and financial/time risk. Pursue those.

4. When you launch an idea, think like the cheetah. The cheetah sees its prey and pursues it really fast for about 50 yards. If it can’t catch its prey, it gives up and finds new prey. So give your idea a stop loss amount and, if you see yourself not getting a return by the time you spend that amount, consider calling it quits.

I hope these are useful ways to triage your ideas.

Andrew NeitlichAndrew Neitlich
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