Coming up with a new idea is an essential part of the entrepreneurial process, but that idea alone will not turn you into a successful entrepreneur. Sometimes I even think that coming up with the idea is the easy part, and that turning an idea into a business is really the hard part. VentureNet Iowa is a new organization that is dedicated to helping Iowans in the commercialization process. Their model below is a great representation of the many key questions that need to be asked throughout this process.
In my experience, I have found that individuals tend to have specialized knowledge in different aspects of this model. For instance, you might have an inventor or an engineer that is great at coming up with ideas, but they might not have that much knowledge of the marketability or how to write a business plan, or vice versa. The answer it to know where your strengths lie and then surround yourself by people that can help you. This is valid for both independent entrepreneurs as well as corporate entrepreneurs. Before pursuing my Ph.D., I worked for Brady Corporation and at the time they were spending a significant amount of time and effort to create teams across the product/market/business arenas as they knew it would enhance their ability to better commercialize products successfully.
Many thanks to my former student and respected colleague, Cris Grunewald, for passing this model along.