In the venture capital business one of the most important factors in an investment decision is the size of the market for the product being introduced. Another important side to this is access to the market. In addition to management skills these are critical when looking for investors.
Individuals have the same challenge. We need to understand the market for what we plan to do and how to access that market. I think this should start when young people graduate from high school and are considering college, trade schools or have other plans. Colleges are getting way too expensive to just “explore” learning, although there is some value in that also. If you can afford to just “explore”, go for it! If you can’t you would be better off doing some market research on what the world needs before making that investment.
We are told that we need to find our niche, what we want to do. That is great but we need to focus on the need for what we want to do if we are going to make a living at it. We cannot rely on colleges to tell us what the need is; they may not have an objective view on this as studying in fields colleges offer created jobs for professors at the colleges. Is this a conflict? I am not sure, but I am suspicious.
The easiest way to get venture money is to identify a huge market need and then provide a solution to solve the problem, via product, software or service. Patents will be necessary to in order to protect the idea from competitors. Individuals cannot get patents of course, but they can identify the huge markets and understand the demands and entry points for people to serve them. The ideal would be to find the huge market for what one really wants to do, then get the education to enter it. If you can’t do that, maybe it would be better to pursue your dream as an hobby and find another way to make a living.
The next challenge will be how to enter the field; that is where networking skills come in. Start building your contact data base now by including family, friends and anyone who gives you a business card so that when you are ready you can turn to folks that will introduce you to people in your field.