Written by Mahan Mohammadi, Ph.D. Candidate & International Ambassadors
It is important to keep need and opportunity separate in the thinking process when planning on identifying a business idea. When you have identified the current and future needs of a target population, it does not necessarily mean that you have reached an opportunity for your business. Identifying unmet needs is a critical prerequisite for success, but not an adequate one.
Some people like to debate needs versus opportunities. They are usually of the wise opinion that requirements (demand) are most heavily regulated by possibilities (supply), not the other way around. The claim is that much of what we use in both professional and personal life exists solely because someone created it without giving much thought to its manageable financial aspects.This is crystal clear that customers don’t realise what they need unless they can buy it. It confuses everyone and leaves the situation undefined. Even this theoretical deliberately invalid argument regarding general and personal demands tends not to reduce the conflict.
This is why the differentiation between need and likelihood-between assessment and solution-is very important, regardless of the nature of the cause-effect relation, whether a venture initiates in an imaginative urge or a sudden impulse, since,
- It keeps a strong emphasis on the consumers: does the need exist among them? What about the timing of the need? Is it a concurrent need?
- It clarifies the competency criteria that the organisation faces: are we skillful enough? Do we have enough knowledge? Have we got the tricks?
- This provides for a mixture of elements: Have we had a chance to fulfil a business demand and generate outstanding value through an innovative new use of assets?
Consequently, the three factors: need, competency, and exceptional value can decide if the window of opportunity is open or can be opened. It will still be a case of taking an event in which uncertain amounts are at stake, for which purpose risks would be important.
Life is a game of chance, even so-except for the enterprising player. Even big, established and highly skilled businesses who understand their markets in all their dark corners can introduce a high proportion of new products that struggle, given the fact that they have obviously been designed and reviewed beforehand.
The secret to business—the window of opportunity—is where expertise matches a fresh or emerging demand, and where an extraordinary interest is created, though, on the basis that no unforeseeable information conflicts with or arises from bad luck.
Soren Hougaard-Business Ideas in the Early Stages of Entrepreneurship-Springer (2004)