Anyone that knows me for any substantial amount of time knows that I have a billion ideas. Some good, some bad, mostly terrible.
Ever since I got my first job in Toronto, in a small little web-dev agency, I found the thrill of building web applications, and how even the smallest application that I shipped brought so much joy.
Since then I’ve built dozens of my own ideas - from building a Groupon clone for college students in 2010 to a services business that brought in over 13 clients over the span of 2 years. Not to mention a little chrome extension that was used by over 12,000 users. Each idea was unique - some were well thought out business plans, and some where just hacks put together in some spare time between classes. By the time I graduted University, I knew that building something was what I wanted to do. The only challenge is what that something is.
Even though, none of my ideas have made me super-rich (directly), they all have made me understand different aspects of running a business. Each idea brings forth new challenges, from the target customer, to marketing, how to find market-fit, get traction, and eventually building it. And with each idea, I learned how hard it was to take an idea and transform it to something that people wanted.
Here are some things that I’ve learned along the way:
- Build products for people
- Don’t be scared to be second or even third at a product. Execution > Idea.
- Focus on the problem, not the solution.
- Your tech stack doesn’t matter.
- Move fast, let your customers steer your ship.
- Write down ideas on a notepad or text file. Give yourself time to think about your idea, and how flawed it is. Do this for every idea that you have.
- Market research trumps ideas. Make people buy into what you’re building before you build it. This is incredibly hard, and daunting, but it will pay off.
- None of your ideas will pan out as you plan. Be adaptable.
- Once you start, focus on one idea at a time. There are a lot of distractions, but focusing on one idea to execute at any given time will help you get the most out of it.
- Do not marry your ideas. Be open minded, listen to others and get co-founder that specialize in other aspects that can help you look at things from a different view.
I have yet to find the idea that will impact the world, but I hope if I keep going - it’s just a matter of time.