So in the previous entry we talked about the fact that talk is cheap and ideas are created in multitudes not only in your head. What differentiates you from the person with the IPO is that he/she acted on the idea and you… well you talked about it with your friend at a bar. So now we take it to the next step. Let’s assume that you took the idea outside of the confines of the bar.
Now comes the phase where you are looking for validation. There are many startup founders that actually completely skip this phase. More of the mad scientist types. For the moment, let’s assume that you are not a mad scientist. You take your business idea and you start talking about it with people that you think are experts or are well versed in the subject of business success. Then you start to get nervous because you’re worried that people will steal your idea….
This is not to say that it is an impossibility, but it is the last problem you should be thinking about now. You are under operating under the presumption that (a) your idea is good enough to steal and (b) this idea doesn’t already exist. Brainstorm, talk and think; don’t handcuff yourself with silly thoughts of confidentiality.
KEEP THE CHATTING TO MINIMUM POSSIBLE QUANTITY (MPQ)
Idea validation and talking through it is not a bad thing. However, often times what occurs is the concern that the idea will not work or just the lack of action that good ideas often fall into a pit of what I like to call “never ending brainstorming”. This condition is when the idea is constantly discussed and nothing is done about it. I have guilty of this two never getting past certain phases of brainstorm and thinking with the preconception that planning is more important. So keep the talk to the MPQ, just enough that you feel comfortable acting on the idea.
FIGURE OUT YOUR ACTION STEPS
This can take a really long time. This is especially painful if you yourself do not have the necessary skillset to execute the idea on your own. An easy example is someone with a web/software idea, but is not a programmer. What do you do? You have two routes (i) you hire someone outside or (ii) you find someone to become your co-founder. What I have found in today’s day and age where programmers are the next hottest commodity, the former is the better way to go. It forces you into a pattern of action and of course locks up some capital which boosts your own dedication.
ASK FOR HELP
Once you think you have a good grasp on what your immediate needs and steps are, don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are busy, but they are much more willing to help than you think. You will never know what’s capable and who will help you until you ask!