I did it. I put the “start” in Start Up. I took the plunge. I officially made a commitment to begin my idea and now there’s no turning back. It’s off to the races on fulfilling my vision. And to be honest, I couldn’t be any more scared shitless. But I think fear comes from the unknown of future events. And in this case, those future events are starting a new project. So that’s what this month’s theme is going to be around. An intangible concept in to a tangible proof of concept.
So with this new beginning, I started asking myself; how do I remove the fear of the future and it’s unknown? And it reminded me of one of my all time favorite quotes…
“The best way to predict the future, is to invent it.”
– Alan Kay
This speaks volumes to me. The idea behind knowing what the future will hold because you are the one who is going to make it that way. That concept reflects such power. And that power encourages such confidence. But what was it that I was going to invent? I knew the concept of what I wanted but specifically, what did that concept look like mapped out?
I needed what was in my mind to be reflected on something tangible. Something I could hold in front of me and critique. So I did what all aspiring entrepreneurs do in a moment of exuberant muse… I went to Staples.
The main goal for going to Staples was to purchase materials that would help me get thought on to ink. I think we underestimate this step. It’s easy for ideas to stay trapped in our heads. Short sparks of thought that seem to make sense because all our brain will allow us to imagine is the perfect world. But the reality is, once those thoughts become tangible, they get put on stand for ridicule.
I encourage everybody, entrepreneurial or not, to carry around a notebook with them. Something just like this would work great and is easy to carry around. Technology hasn’t hacked in to our brains yet so unfortunately there is no Save option on thoughts. Which means we can’t pull that old thought back up later and remember that great idea or funny thought we had. Notebooks are a great way to save those moments and keep a record over the years. Anyway. I digress…
After I had all of my scripting accoutrement, I sat down and starting sketching out some concepts around the who, what, where and how of the project. This was critical because you never realize how many gaping holes are in your concept until you are required to fully think through every aspect of it. I asked myself the starting questions like: How much would this cost? Who would use it? What will it look like? Then came the harder questions. What’s my monetization model? When do I expect to be cashflow positive? These questions led to more questions which led to agita which led to a beer.
But by the end I felt more conformable with the project. Like it was already done. I just now needed to take my idea from mind to matter…