Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Fear #4 of Entrepreneurship

"Someone will steal my idea."

Last night I went out with my friend, Steve, who is one of the greatest inspirations in my life. He's one of the hardest working, most courageous business people I know. He's my go-to guy when I have a new business idea and need advice. For a long time, he's been encouraging me to start my own business. I was telling him about my business idea and asked him how he decided to communicate his business plan while also protecting his idea.

"Chances are, Christa, no one is going to think your idea is worth quitting their own job over. The idea that starts a business is 10% of the work and executing it is the other 90%. It's very hard, if not impossible, to do that 90% alone."

With that kind of perspective, the fear of someone stealing my idea seems completely irrational. In addition, consider that Apple was not the first MP3 maker, Zappo' not the first on-line e-tailer to sell shoes, Google not the first search or email service. These companies redefined their playing field, largely by banking on delightful execution and maniacal focus on customers and employees. Their ideas were around long before they were ever created. They brought their own special mark to an idea; that special mark brought them success and is something that cannot be stolen.

4 comments:

runner52 said...

Sounds like sound advice....what type of business do you want to start? Everything is a variation of something else...I don't think there are any new things left to discover, with the exception of vaccines...best of luck

Laura Cococcia said...

Hi Christa - love this post. I think Steve's and your insights make complete sense. It can be a product or service offered by other (even like blogs) but with a twist since there is always an audience for everything, especially now that we're able to reach people in ways we never were before. Great post!

Christa said...

Thanks, Laura! I am truly surprised by how much writing about these fears is really helping me get over them! I hope it's helping others, too.

-C

Christa said...

Hi runner52! tehy say that about writing, too, most of the elements of every plotline already exist - it's just pesonal touches that make them different. I think that's true with business, too. I'm looking to build a product development company and my first idea is in the education space. Still working out all of the specifics but I'm on my way...

-C