The “stolen” idea of Facebook and eternal legal battle between Zuckerberg and the twins is a well documented worst case scenario as to what happens when you share your idea with the wrong people. But what is the best case scenario?
I was recently on 5By (check them out, amazing video conceirge style curation) and checking out their Venture Cap Channel. 5By served me up a pretty great video on finding a technical co-founder, a question I get all the time from the start-ups I work with that are lacking the Hacker to complete the Hipster, Hacker, Hustler trifecta. In this video, Ian Jeffrey of FounderFuel, says that the best way to attract the Hacker is to tell everyone about your idea, especially at events and meet ups where the Hacker types might hang out (look for neck beards and ironic t-shirts) He also addresses the “what if someone steals the idea” concern.
I’ve thought about this idea of people stealing my ideas before telling folks about projects that I think about on nights and weekends and during the first 10,000 feet of airline flights. When it all boils down to it, I could give someone all the details needed and a really good pitch about why some of my ideas are awesome but if they tried to steal them, they would be missing a very important piece of the reason it is a great idea: Me.
At this point in the innovation and start-up industry’s life cycle, we are beyond the point were people are looking for the needle in the haystack of good ideas. Now people are trying to beat back the good ideas and find the great ones, and, most everyone is partial to their own. People don’t have time to steal your ideas, they’re trying to find enough time to do their own.
A great example of this kind of openness was the subject of my Forbes post this morning. John O’Nolan laid out his game plan for building Ghost last year and didn’t hide much. But, it was because of this openness that he got over 100,000 unique views on that blog post and, in the past 24 hours, has doubled his Kickstarterr goal and is well on his way to blowing the doors off of this opportunity. If someone else had taken this idea and run with it without John, it would have failed. There is no one else that cared about it as much as he did. And because of that caring, he’s attracted a team of rock stars to work with him.
So, get out there and share the big ideas. Get out there and find others they resonate with. Then go do them together. That’s what this wild and crazy world is all about.Tweet
For today’s TedTalk Lunch, I watched two videos sharing two sides to one story. Exploring the innovation of the past century and making predictions about the century ahead these two speeches both make compelling cases. The first talk below assumes the glasses is half empty and there is no way that the 2000s can compete with the innovation and world changing impact of the inventions of the 1900s. The second talk, the glass half full, lays out a more optimistic perspective about the road that lies ahead. It is worthwhile to watch them both and look for the truths that resonate in your own industry, for better or worse.
I have been a Simon Sinek fan for awhile, every since his TED Talk (which I blogged about HERE.) And today during lunch, like I do everyday that I don’t have a lunch meeting, I had a Learning Lunch. I usually go to the TED Talks channel, but this time, YouTube suggested another Simon Sinek talk first.
If you only have three minutes, watch the first three minutes when he discuses his purpose in life. But if you want to hear leadership explained in a way that will be immediately implementable in your life, take the 21 minutes to watch the whole thing.
My dog Rocco likes his walks. Some are short, some are long, but anything that involves stretching his legs and taking in the smorgasbord of smells in our neighborhood, he’s in. But, there is one thing that makes gives me pause just about every time: where he marks his territory.
On our normal morning walk, there are some obvious targets for Rocco’s territory marking; trees, planters, the side of the grocery store… etc. But, there is one wrought iron fence half way up our block that he always stops at. Not because it is “valuable” territory to mark, but because it is territory that is frequently marked by all the dogs in the neighborhood. Nothing special about it, just a place that they all think is worth a pit stop.
It got me thinking on the rest of the walk about the territory we all mark in business that we mark because we’ve been told it matters by everyone else but that may or may not hold real value. Number of likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter? A write up in Mashable or a panel invite for SXSW? There is no doubt that other folks are marking that territory, but is it territory that you should be?
This idea is expanded on and even more fleshed out in the book Blue Ocean Strategy: “lasting success comes from creating ‘blue oceans’: untapped new market spaces ripe from growth… companies around the world are skipping the bloody red oceans of rivals and creating their very own blue oceans.” Definitely worth checking out.
Or, as Mark Twain said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”Tweet
Last night I watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a documentary featuring 85 year old Jiro Ono, arguably the world’s greatest sushi chef. The movie chronicles his life, his restaurant, and the challenge that lies ahead as he and his 50 year old son work through a succession plan that will keep the legacy of his father’s work preserved.
The opening scene, Jiro explains his life work:
“Once you decide on your occupation… you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success… and is the key to being regarded honorably.”
He was sent out into the world at the age of nine and became an apprentice at 10. He has been making sushi for over 75 years and for 75 years he has been searching for an even better version of his work. He says in the movie that every piece of sushi he serves is better than the one before. That when he does his work, he feels victorious. Every single day, repeating the same steps to create the same excellence, and pushing just a little bit harder to make it just a little bit better. Never settling.
His persistent and consistent work to create excellence and the expectation of his staff (minimum of ten year apprenticeship before they are allowed to be in the front of the restaurant) got me thinking about Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 Hour Rule.” It would certainly seem to apply here. But that rule also always gets me thinking, what have I spent 10,000 intention hours work to become the best at?
My career has been much more dynamic than Jiro’s and anyone on Gladwell’s list. The skill set that I’ve been asked to bring to the work I do can and does change with the task at hand. My aspirations of being a renaissance man seem more realistic than an master craftsman like Jiro. And there is nothing wrong with that, but, it does beg the question, of the skills that I use today and know I will use for the rest of my life, am I obsessed with making everyday’s efforts better than the day before?