After a holiday season full of creative conversations with family and friends, the New Year inspires an openness to what’s next. This leads many to consider building something new. To kickoff 2023, go beyond only being the idea machine. Let’s start building now.
We’ll begin with a common scenario – there’s a cool concept and maybe some industry insight, but the idea requires technology and you lack an ability to code. This often makes first-time founders feel like there’s nothing they can do without paying for development or immediately recruiting co-founders to help build the product. This locks the idea in limbo, when in fact, there are many methods to make purposeful progress without writing a line of code.
One easy way to start is to visualize the idea through a process called wireframing. Wireframing is an entrepreneurial exercise that only requires a pencil, paper, and time. This activity is thought-provoking and allows anyone to conceptualize the structure and flow of their idea. It helps identify each type of user and the user experience (“UX”) with no tech required.
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Ready for action? Excellent! Use a wireframing template to draw everything on screens of the device(s) your product will be used on. For example, if it’s a mobile app, find a wireframing template that includes blank smartphone screens and space for notes (example) to describe each state and how everything connects within the user interface (“UI”). Wireframing is mostly used to outline technology-based products, but some thoughtful sketching helps jump start physical products as well. If you’re thinking about a physical product, test your drawing skills by highlighting how different elements collectively come together to form the final embodiment.
Along with clarifying concepts for yourself, coordinated wireframing makes it easier for others to follow how everything fits together. The time spent here will save you money if you outsource development, as a solid roadmap helps lone wolves avoid costly detours. Wireframing helps you hire a team that can build what you want without pushing the idea into a more ordinary direction that works best for them. If you decide to seek co-founders who can effectively help build ideas into reality, (which would be my recommendation, but will take more time), wireframing is one more way to show you’re serious.
As you plug into the startup community, which is critical, this wireframing activity helps support the early versions of a pitch that tells a more impactful story as you breathe fresh air into the idea with feedback from others. While product design and the business to support it will need to evolve, earnest wireframing will help idea machines avoid melting momentum.