Now that you have clearly articulated your @ha Idea, evaluated its need and sized the market opportunity you need to justify and design barriers to entry. In this increasingly competitive world that we live in, where ideas are the new currency, think hard about protecting yours.
Use a holistic design driven approach to barriers. First answer the following simple questions:
- How easy would it be for someone else to copy and execute upon my idea?
- How long would it take for someone to copy my idea and take it to market?
- Can my idea be protected by patents or trademarks?
- Which competitors (real or potential) could hurt me the most?
- How do I keep a continuous watching brief on potential competitors?
- How can I slow competitors from taking or developing my idea?
- How do I keep my idea secret or at least below the radar screen until I have reached Market Entry stage?
- How do I keep my secret sauce secret throughout the process?
- How can I create barriers through smart design, development, team building, pricing, packaging, marketing etc. (think out of the box)?
- How can I protect my idea with employee contracts, NDA's, carefully worded product literature, ambiguous PR and more?
- How long can I keep my idea secret from others until I have to jump way up above the parapet?
- How do I continue to develop barriers to entry throughout all 7 stages of Innov@te all the way to Exit?
Barriers to entry can and should be as carefully designed and planned as your product development or go to market strategies.