On Monday, grocery store shelves across the Northeast were cleared of all sustenance by desperate citizens in preparation for the great blizzard of 2015. As I sit hunkered down in Brooklyn, with a full refrigerator of treasures I fought the bearded and scarved hoards for yesterday, my thoughts turned to the future of how we shop.
Truth be told, shopping across all categories is broken. There is a growing gap between the shopping public and the retailers who aim to serve them. And caught in the middle, brands are trying to find new ways to wrestle some control back. On the edge is an army of entrepreneurs claiming they’ll show us how to do it all better. With that stage set, I believe 2015 will be a big year for shopping. I’m not predicting record sales or the greatest black Friday on record. This is about what happens behind the shelves. What we’ll see this year is the surfacing of multiple disjointed issues deep inside the infrastructure of shopping itself.
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
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I shared some thoughts on Forbes about the parallels I see everyday between sales and dating. The one truth that applies in both instances that I didn’t include but perhaps should have is this: If you’re not getting any, it is not their fault.
A year ago today I wrote my first post for Forbes as a Contributor on The Art and Science of Hustle. Since then, I have posted 2-3 times a month and have been truly honored and fascinated by the response I’ve received. Some posts that I thought would do well flopped and other posts that I was less committed to turned out to be run away successes and the source of some incredible feedback and engagement.
Here are the Top Ten posts from my first year:
All told I’ve seen over 215,000 pages views on the 30 posts from this past year and I am looking forward to another great year ahead. I am really working on upping my game and making sure that the thoughts and ideas I share are of interest and timely to anyone kind enough to give them a read. I would love any and all feedback on what topics you would like to see me dig into in the future.
Have any thoughts? Comment below.
Thanks and here’s to another awesome year exploring The Art and Science of Hustle.Tweet
From having reports stalking my apartment building to my Mom receiving phone calls on my childhood home phone number to offers of money in exchange for more information, it was a wild weekend. Learned a lot about journalism and how things go viral and am still processing it all.