The difference between developing an idea & developing a pitch

There may be that point in your life when you wake up and think;

“I hate what I do for my job and I know I can do something more meaningful and for myself.”

You might be there now, or you may always love what you do (lucky you).

But when you feel you’re really ready to take that next step and be the boss yourself, you have to have the idea. That burning idea that you just can’t shake off, that keeps you awake at night with excitement and keeps you focussed at your current 9–5 knowing that you’re going to break free from the monotonous shackles.

You’ve heard about those startups that get mega bucks investments, you’ve seen entrepreneurs grow, fail, thrive, take over social media and become the hot topic of conversation, and now — you’re ready to become one and take the risk for yourself.

You’ve been doing the research, writing the notes & buying the ‘start a business guide’ books from Amazon, and you’re ready to make the perfect pitch. But I’m going to put a stop to the spinning wheel for a second; whilst that is incredible — there’s a significant difference between ideation & pitch. And you need to know about it.

Developing your idea is the foundation for success in your startup.

Developing doesn’t mean writing the idea down, creating an ‘outline’ for a development journey and hoping for the best when standing up for your pitch. Developing means delving into your idea, pulling it apart, rebuilding, pulling it apart again and figuring out your potential and where you stand in your market.

So how can you do that?

Like with any business, while developing your idea you need to understand your ideal client and your marketplace. To help you out, here are a few questions to get acquainted with:

  1. What is your ‘why’ for your idea?
  2. What problem are you helping to solve?
  3. Who are your target audience? Adults or children? Men, women or both? Their age? Location? Financial background?
  4. Do they use similar products/services to yours? Have they been failed by them before or what do they like?
  5. Like all ideas, nothing is original, how can you stand out?

Although these five questions are just scratching the surface (read more on investor-ready here it’s vital to have a clear understanding of where you stand and your startup pathway, to ensure a successful pitch.

This leads us onto your pitch.

Selling an idea only works when you have the right people around you.

To ensure the best growth outline, you need to have the right guidance and support system around you, from accountability to knowledge, to those who are able to thrive within their zone of genius to allow you to do the same. It really does help to have experienced team members or mentors around.

Pitching your idea means you are about to take your initial concept and take it to the world, so before stepping up to the mark, make sure you’re protecting your intellectual property. This main seem basic, but it is a valuable way to position your idea.

Next up, if you’re going in solo without a mentor — take into consideration the following:

  1. Do you have a professional pitch deck?
  2. Do you have a clear outline of your offer and what you are doing with your business?
  3. What is your USP?
  4. What’s your project outline?
  5. Demonstrate your knowledge.
  6. Have you got an intended marketing strategy?

When working with startups, it’s vital to ensure they understand the development of their idea, all the way to pitching.

There is a clear differentiation between the two, and to confidently step into your power of a founder, you have to have the foundations laid.

Alex Weekes is a Digital Product Manager, Associate Lecturer, and Startup Consultant working with some of the world's most innovative startups and technologies.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store