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What is the Difference Between a Million Dollar and a Billion Dollar Idea?

3/15/2020 Anant Goel

What is the difference between a million dollar and a billion dollar idea?


That is precisely what they both are worth.

There's no such thing as a million dollar or billion dollar idea, only million dollar or billion dollar companies.

The idea rarely survives first contact with the potential customers.

That said...

The value of a start-up Idea comes from the execution of the idea, the character and mindset of the leadership and the talent and dedication of the execution team involved.

There were perhaps hundreds of ideas for Facebook(s), Twitter(s), Uber(s), AirB&B(s) that fell by the wayside even before they earned a million dollars… though several of them were with smarter technology and/or a stronger ‘core idea’, but they did not execute as well.  The leaders of those companies and the teams they created around them made the difference… execution is what kept them going when obstacles arose. That’s what made them keep working and changing the ‘idea’ until it was worth something. And that’s what impressed the investors enough to create the financial opportunity that allowed the creators to keep working on it till a billion dollar company was realized.

Some ideas can make billions of dollars and are thus labeled billion dollar ideas. But, what are some factors that make billion dollar ideas stand out from the rest?

Here’s the summary of a 20 page report on the subject…

First, identify your market:

  • Solve a multi-billion dollar problem that you and others are urgently trying to solve.
  • Develop a product or service where the gain [cost saving, productivity, etc.] from using it is at least 10X the pain of adopting it.
  • Develop a new product or service that you can bring to market by leveraging capital, energy, cheap labor, technology, other people’s time, or other people’s money.

Next, do the market research…

Do focus groups or spend time talking with potential customers/users in this market to ensure that you understand their need or the problem(s) deeply… and not just at a trivial surface level. 

Next, develop the product prototype…

Develop the product or service prototype to demonstrate the feasibility of leveraging the existing resources; enabling technologies; and meet stated goals of ROA/ROI, performance, quality, safety, and scalability.

Next, deliver the product…

Deliver the product or service to test market acceptance, product validation, test business flow, and the ability to LEVERAGE drivers of growth─ capital, energy, cheap labor, technology, other people’s time, or other people’s money─ to take it viral or global.

Next, scale the product…

Test the scalability of the product or service. Both scalability and the ability to leverage capital, energy, cheap labor, technology, or other people’s time, or other people’s money is at the heart of every successful billion dollar idea.   

Next, deliver on the billion dollar idea…

What defines the billion dollar idea…

  • The multi-billion dollar size of the market for product or service.
  • The ability to scale product or service and deliver stated ROA/ROI, performance, quality, reliability, and safety.  [ROA: Return on Adoption]
  • The ability to LEVERAGE drivers of growth, such as, capital, energy, cheap labor, technology, other people’s time, or other people’s money to take it viral or go global.

In summary…

Real billion dollar ideas have multi-billion dollar market size, they are scalable, and leverage drivers of growth to go viral or global.

Leverage and command over these drivers of growth are constantly changing; as technologies become democratized and use of energy and cheap labor becomes common place. When this happens, the playing field is leveled again and new markets or a new set of drivers of growth or new leveraged advantages must be found.

Those who understand and learn how to use capital, energy, cheap labor, technology, other people's time, other people's money combined with the power of business systems that deliver great value are the ones who create wealth. Once they get such formula correct, huge wealth comes from SCALING that value delivery to the masses at a global scale.

Today the power of leverage is found in many ways. Financial strategies, diverse technologies, business models, outsourcing, communications, web 2.0, social media, advertising, real estate, transportation, to name a few...

To become a billionaire… develop a billion dollar idea… and help a billion people on this planet of over 7 billion humans.

Billion Dollar Idea with $2 Billion Market Potential by 2023...

Company: MicroVision [Nasdaq: MVIS]

Technology: Laser Beam Scanning [LBS] PicoP Display Engine and IP Portfolio

Target Market:

  • Small Form Factor Projection Engine for Embedded and Mobile Applications
  • Compact Cognitive LiDAR For Smart Home Applications 
  • Miniature HD Display Technology To Enable the Future of AR + MR + VR 
  • Compact Perceptive LiDAR For HD Mapping and Active Collision Avoidance 
  • On-Demand Interactive Display for IoT and AI Platforms 
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