Lessons Learned: The Evolution of Your Idea

Rohit Mittal is a junior undergraduate in the NYU Stern School of Business. Rohit is CEO and co-founder of Mitley. He is also an RA at Founders Hall, Treasurer of WorldVision at NYU, and an intern at PublicStuff.

BOOM! An idea is generated. You think this is the one - finally here is the idea that might be a real business. This is the idea that will serve as the general framework for all you will do with your business. But, one thing you may not realize is your idea will morph and change as you research the market in depth. Of course, that’s not a bad thing at all; it happened with my company and every company out there.

I am fortunate to be the CEO of a start-up that was generated from a blog idea. At the time, we were planning to simply launch a blog so musicians can connect with each other to produce music with other musicians in the area. The idea was to connect musicians with each other because they may need a musician who has a very specific skill. From preliminary research, our team learned that this is not viable at all. I mean, how were we going to pay the $9.99 a month to support the domain name and the blog platform?

We had no choice but to change our idea in order to cover this very simple expense; of course we could afford this ourselves, but it’s not a viable business if we have to cover the expenses on our own.

Branching off our original idea, we created Mitley. This online platform is for musicians to rent equipment from other musicians and can connect with each other once the transaction is completed. Mitley would survive off of a small commission per transaction and our users would get the rest.

The idea was constructed to try and keep our users happy. It’s honestly a win-win model because it ensures that we can grow and keep our users happy. Even with this idea, we are still adding features. As we talk to more people, we realize that Mitley can be better with additional options for our users.

You must always remember to contribute towards your original vision. For us, it was to create a musician network. You should never totally stray away from the original idea. You will always have more features to add and more ideas that can be implemented, but the minute you stray away from what got you started, you lose your purpose.

Even though your original idea may not always easily be noticeable, make sure that it’s still there. As long as it’s in there somewhere, you have your purpose to keep on going. Always remember that an entrepreneur never needs to stop; we all know that there will be lots of roadblocks on the way, but we need to solve them and keep on going. With your idea, if you are stuck or think you may need to change it, think about the problem your idea solves. Once you figure out your problem, you can figure out another idea or alter your idea to ensure that it effectively solves the problem.

Just remember there are often multiple ways to solve a problem. If your original solution doesn’t work, then come up with another. As mentioned before, you will most likely alter your original idea and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.