AN IDEA IS BORN
I spent this past weekend working with a local university mentoring new entrepreneurs refining their ideas. A thought that won’t escape their frontal-lobe that could be the next great idea. Their concepts range form, already in prototype testing to mere sketches in a notebook. The participants spanned from college freshman to forty-something with a nudge or mental itch they desired to resolve.
The participant pitches were delivered with confidence, with fear and trepidation, with cockiness, with PowerPoint failures, and with many warts however each one presented their story as best they could. Listening to over 100 participants was an episode of Shark Tank on steroids. Seeing each person with a belief in his or her unique idea is hard to explain. The best way to describe these ideas is somewhat like a piece of art. They are unique, cherished by their owner, unfiltered, maturing, and wonderful. What is reality is most ideas remain a mental notation kept warm with hope and good intentions from the proprietor never to be seen.
The notion of mentoring and coaching is to help germinate these ideas, suggest next steps, or just encourage a person to get up and speak. Our job is removing fear of embarrassment and accepting the fact that thousands of failures are ok. Some mentors feel it’s their responsibility to judge the merits of the idea propping it up or shooting it down based upon their professional opinion. I feel an idea should be respected and treated with care regardless if its market population is one or a billion. Only the owner should have the right to progress or scrap the idea.
What is fun about these events is to see the cutting edge frontier. The new technology presented included artificial intelligence search engine optimization tool creating behavioral algorithms optimizing websites. A grill accessory guaranteeing perfectly cooked food through integrated thermometers and timers in the grates. A software/app scouring millions of dockets measuring attorneys effectiveness by case wins and type creating a rating system matching client needs with the best attorney.
We are a bike pedal designer and manufacturer, as well as promoters of innovation and improvement. If you have an idea stuck in your head then we encourage you to take a step. Do not be afraid. Several of us here are fans of Elon Musk. Yes he is smart, works tenacious hours, and able to process things quickly. But he is just a dood self-taught in programming who likes to read science fiction books. He overcame many fears and built a company that announced this week they are sending two civilians around the moon. Think about his risk and life responsibilities and compare that to your idea.