Had a great meeting with some of my friends last evening. Had been due for quite some time. We swapped war stories, struggles, corporate culture, office politics and the future ahead of us. It was fun, exciting and even thought provoking to say the least. I thoroughly enjoyed it, which is rare, considering how much I despise get-togethers and try to avoid them (at least most of them).
One of my friends voiced out a thought — that we should meet more often and actually develop an idea that’s BIG enough to be disruptive. And together we can iron out the inconsistencies and work towards making it successful. I gave it a thought but had to shrug it off for a couple of reasons:
- My friends had one too many drinks
- Theoretically every idea looks like the next BIG one but it usually isn’t
So, we debated at length to conclude (finally!) that most of our ideas suck and we’re all busy with our lives anyway. And that’s partially true because not all of our ideas actually suck. Sure they may sound absurd (or perhaps way too bold to be accepted by our societal norms) but that doesn’t mean it’s not achievable or a worthy idea.
Then why the heck aren’t we able to do anything about it? Many reasons.
One of which, is that we evaluate our ideas based on how acceptable or saleable they are. The truth is that an idea doesn’t have to be great (at least to the ones around us) to be a successful venture. But we’re humans after all. We are afraid to implement our ideas and waste a good chunk of our lifetime validating our ideas. And since most of our ideas sound absurd or outlandish, they get discarded by the people around us and eventually ourselves!
That’s the typical lifecycle of an idea. We all know it and because we do, I don’t think we have the right to complain or whine why Facebook, Amazon or Uber is making billions and we’re stuck in a dead-end job.
I firmly believe that if you have an idea, instead of validating it with the whole world, you should just go ahead and implement it! That’s one of the best ways to find out. Sure, it’s a risk. But every successful venture out there took a risk on an idea that most people didn’t find worthy or credible enough. Someone had to do it. And so they did.
Why can’t that be you?
I would also argue that our ambitions and insecurities don’t really align. On one hand we want to be the next Facebook or Uber or any one of the other unicorn startups. But we’re shit scared to make a move! Why? Because we’re too scared to lose money, about people’s judgment and or own ego.
Lowering expectations is the key. Instead of the building the next big unicorn company, build a small business is sustainable and churns in small profits every year. But like I mentioned above, our egos won’t allow us to settle for anything below those “standards” set by some of the most iconic companies.
The result? The idea instead of taking off gets buried underground. I guess our ideas are only as good as our next steps.