I was driving today to the office, and I was wondering: if I would like to start a new business today what it would be? I didn’t come up with the idea yet, but I know how to approach this topic to find the proper perception.
Let me tell you first few short stories.
Surfer Nick Woodman is a surfer. He wanted to take selfies while surfing. No equipment suits him, so he created GoPro. Today many people use something which Nick created for his purposes.
Kevin Plank was the self-proclaimed “sweatiest guy on the football field”. He was tired of finishing training with his cotton T-shirt soaked in sweat. o He created something that solved his problem. He invented the synthetic fabric that moved away sweat from his body. And that was the beginning of Under Armour.
Charlie O’Brien was a solid defensive catcher and a modest right-handed batter. During the game, he was hit in the face with a foul ball. He didn’t like it. So he invented the hockey style catcher’s mask to avoid that kind of situations.
Reed Hastings, the founder of Netflix, started his business when he had to pay $40 late fee. „I got the idea for Netflix after my company was acquired,” said Hastings during the interview for The New York Times.”I had a big late fee for ‚Apollo 13.’ It was six weeks late, and I owed the video store $40. I had misplaced the cassette. It was all my fault. I didn’t want to tell my wife about it. And I said to myself, ‚I’m going to compromise the integrity of my marriage over a late fee?’ Later, on my way to the gym, I realized they had a much better business model. You could pay $30 or $40 a month and work out as little or as much as you wanted.”
Sara Blakely joined the company that was selling fax machines door-to-door. In the heat and humidity of Florida, she tried unsuccessfully to find pantyhose that didn’t have seamed toes, and that didn’t roll up the leg after she cut them [Wikipedia]. So she invented something that solved her problems but also problems of million women worldwide. The company called Spanx was created with $5000 and in 2012 was valued at $1 billion.
So, what is the answer for my question from the lead? The answer is obvious. It’s enough to find the solution for the problem that you and other people have. So easy right? Sure. If you think that it’s that easy – unfortunately – you are wrong. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to invent something.
There is one another factor that is mandatory to succeed. The most important. Much more important that your greatest idea.
The ideas, even great ideas are cheap. I learnt this from my business mistakes. Don’t be fooled that only genuine people have great, brilliant ideas. A lot of people get great ideas daily, worldwide. I had few ideas in the past that were great. If I only introduced these ideas to life, I would be at least millionaire. Instead of this – which I understand today – I was rather looking for excuses, not a solutions. „Oh, I don’t have an investor”. „Oh, it’s hard to do a business when you don’t have at least savings and bank is not interested to give you a loan”.
Excuses are as cheap as great ideas. I think there is a similar number of both.
You say that many people try to do something, they tried to implement their idea into life. Yes, that’s true they try. I saw this also. What’s more, I even participated in such a project once, when we tried so much, and we failed. Today I understand the reasons, but if you asked me then, I would say that „market wasn’t ready,” „people weren’t ready,” etc. The truth is different. There were not enough perseverance. Of course, there are the situations that perseverance is not enough. There is the situation that particular business will not be successful. But there is a lot of situations when great ideas turned to real life could solve problems of many others.
Be brave while you dream, but be braver when you start doing your business. That was my learning from business mistakes.