Entrepreneurs Don’t Need Great Ideas
Everyone sees entrepreneurship as having this secret business idea. Sometimes it happens like that. But not every great business was founded on some ultra-complex idea. What you need is a precise execution.
Take Amazon for instance. Bezos’s original idea was to create an online bookstore. The ’90s saw a boom in internet presence and Jeff thought it was valuable to buy books directly from distributors rather than brick and mortar. It was not a complicated idea as people were already purchasing products online. It was a mix of online shopping and books.
Amazon is about as far away from an online bookstore as any business today. They sell everything under the sun, manufacture their own branded items, created AWS, built cloud computing, and so on.
Bezos didn’t have all these products and services in mind when he started. He may have had a long casted idea of what an internet business could scale into, but surely not what it’s become today.
What Jeff had on his side was execution. His idea (at the time) did not involve detailed algorithms and bulky supply chains. Just a simple business model to purchase books online.
He has been quoted saying he started extremely small and would drive the packages to the post office himself. He also mentioned he hoped they would eventually save up enough money to invest in a forklift. I think they have some extra money for a forklift today.
Thinker to Doer
There tends to be a disconnect where some think but do not perform and others perform but do not think. Whichever side you are on, you must admit your weakness and implement a strategy to become both a thinker and doer.
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for entrepreneurs, even in the same industry. You see, you could have the best idea known to man. But without a plan of action, it will always just be an idea.
You don’t need everything perfect before you start, you just need to start.
There tends to be a stage in the business known as the pivot. It’s when you are building your company and realize that your original product is not wholly accepted by the market. You realize your target market actually wants B and not-A.
This is not something you could have anticipated as the market’s wants and needs are ever-changing. This turning point for your firm (which can lead you to profitability) can only be found by becoming a doer. By implementing your current strategy and seeing where it takes you.
To put this into context, take Facebook for an example. Mark started his company but coding the social network in his dorm room. It was originally built for use solely by Harvard students. It began to grow and allowed any student to join as long as they had a university email. Just like Amazon, they started small.
Zuckerberg could not have imagined the scope of his invention at the time of inception. He could not have projected billions of people would use his network to stay up to date on friends and family.
The idea here is that you don’t need an elaborate idea kept from everyone on earth. You just need to commercialize it.
Start small and tackle down a niche. It’s better to dominate a small market and branch out from there instead of taking on huge markets and learning it’s almost impossible to capture even 1%.
Most ideas drastically change after a plan is set into motion. That is okay.
Realizing that 2 of the largest companies in the world today started with books in a garage and students in Boston will help you realize that your small idea can someday be big, too.
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