You’re asking a good question – don’t all ideas have to have some sort of revenue to cover costs?
Yes, essentially they do. That can either be by monetising the service/product or by donations from philanthropic resources to fund it. The first is a business, the second is effectively a charity.
If you’re thinking of a business, following are some of the questions (borrowed from Will Charles at Uniservices!) to be asking yourself to determine if/how you proceed:
1) Is this just an idea or have you either got results from experiments?
Yes – go to question 2;
No – complete research first or test idea/hypotheses
2) Why is it clever, or why is the result unexpected, why is this inventive, why is it new, can you explain why it might be inventive (look at Google Patents, Espacenet (European Patent Office – Includes international patents), Freepatentsonline.com, USPTO Web Patent Databases, Patentscope and Academic Literature Sources?
Yes – go to question 3;
No – rethink it until you have an idea which is unique and/or inventive
3) Is there, in your view an unmet market need need or question that your idea has for this specific technology and who might read about it or want to know?
Yes – then this is an early stage idea that can potentially be developed into a new product, service or company
No – go back to the drawing board and analyse where there is an unmet need and direct your produce there.
Those are the initial questions – let us know where your idea fits and we’ll proceed further?