Reality Check/OG

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Reality Check
Contributors Christian Kohls
Last modification June 6, 2017
Source Kohls (2016)[1]
Pattern formats OPR Alexandrian
Learning domain


You have identified an idea that you want to implement. You have backup for the idea by a Voting, know about the pros and cons by running The Jury (The Jury), and its high on your Priorities (Priorities). So what could go wrong?


Sometimes the greatest ideas fail.


It could be that you have the greatest idea ever but it’s just the wrong timing. People are not ready for it of have other problems. Or the environment is not ready, the ecosystem is not setup. Maybe you have the best killer app ever. But you have decided on the wrong platform and no one buys it.

Maybe your idea is huge and can really be a game changer. But you don’t have the money or resources to do it. Maybe you can crowdfund but the components are still too expensive. Sometimes you need to wait some years before you can make an idea real because the market is ready, there is enough demand, and the early adopters are perceptive. Or the components are now affordable. Or the development tools have improved.

Having that great idea and failing with it can be particularly frustrating. It can mean financial ruin. It can mean that you have not spend not enough time with family and friends and now you are socially isolated. You want prevent disaster!


Therefore, make a reality check before you ultimately start with an idea. Is the timing right? Do you have the right resources? Do you have the money? Is the market ready? Do you have the commitment? Can you drop other products? Do you really want to do this? To which extent are you willing to suffer?

That reality checklist should not kill your ideas too easily. Being innovative is still a risk. But sometimes an idea is doomed by circumstantial factors. If you aware of these factors you can better judge the risk. If you are daring enough to follow up with an idea despite the threats, it’s more likely that you are really into it.

  1. Make your own checklist.
  2. Answer the questions for yourself.
  3. Ask other for their opinions. Do some Research.
  4. Ultimately check your goals and assumptions for reality
  5. If everything seems realistic: go for it!

If there are some doubts or unknowns: Be aware of the risks and decide whether your idea is innovative enough and whether you are daring enough to make unrealistic things real.

The Reality Check (Reality Check) is the final gateway before you actually start making the idea happen. But it’s not the last time you should do a Reality Check (Reality Check). You should have a Simple Project Organization (Simple Project Organization) that allows Reality Check (Reality Check) along the path. Working on a Prototyping (Kohls) (Prototyping (Kohls)) will also provide more and more data and answers questions about what can be realized at the moment and what needs further innovation.

If you have done your Reality Check (Reality Check) for the ideas you decided on then do not wait any longer. Part of the Reality Check (Reality Check) is to ensure that You are really into it and that You really want to make it happen. So make it happen, and Just Do It! (Just Do It!)


  1. Kohls, C. (2016). The magic 5 of innovation: judgement patterns. In Proceedings of the 21st European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (EuroPLoP 2016) (p. 21).New York: ACM.