I’m a young person (28) and the co-owner of a product startup. Our Genesis, or pre-product stage, definitely required SITG, but not in the way most people think.
We started in an auto body shop, and customers came in with rusty vehicles all the time. They couldn’t afford “proper” repairs, so they would ask for something cheaper I.E. inferior. The risk with offering a service like this is two-fold:
1: Risk damaging your reputation if people find out that you are performing substandard repairs
2: Risk damaging your bottom line if the customer comes back in a few years because the rust came back
The first one was the big one. Simply having the willingness to consider offering a non-standard repair was a risk, and the gateway to innovation.
So to answer your question, before the product comes to fruition, I think the risk (in some cases, maybe most) is in loss of reputation; the risk of being wrong or looking foolish.
People that want to sell their ideas (and avoid the hard part of prototyping and product/market fit) are side-stepping the risk of being wrong. They can just blame it on someone else if their idea isn’t successful. ( Side note: They’re also skirting the risk of lost time, which is another huge red flag. I’ve learned that ideas without action are worth very, very little. Someone that wants to outsource everything from day one is not someone I’d bet on).
This ties well with the Breaking Smart essay referenced in Mike’s comment. If our product had failed (it still could) we would have looked like hacks, but since it has kind of taken off you wouldn’t believe how many people have come to me and said “I thought of making that product years ago, I just never acted on it”.
The moral of the Breaking Smart essay, and the SITG tie-in, is this: While we should put ourselves in the position to get the full effects of our failures we must accept that we will never receive full credit for our successes, but this also means that others never fully understand our domain. What we fail to collect in social credits we retain in insight acumen which allows us to build a platform for future successes.