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Nobody Likes Your Idea… Until Everybody Else Does…

April 14, 2013

Running around in the startup space for over 15 years, I’ve noticed a universal truism when it comes to articulating new ideas:  95-100% of the people you need to convince that it’s a good one don’t agree…  until they do.  Much of this skepticism is justified.  Most startups fail and a lot of startup ideas do suck!

But our experience is that the glass is perpetually half-empty when it comes to your audience, especially if they are sources of capital, and how they evaluate prospects for your new ideas.

New Market Entrepreneurs need to possess the courage of their convictions to move heaven and earth on their own to prove their idea has merit.  It is a hard, lonely and risky crusade.

You are not alone.  Our good friend @robustus sent this summary along (in support of Bitcoin) that perfectly illustrates what we are talking about.  It’s viewable in a pretty slide show here listing The 18 Most “Ridiculous” (at first) Startup Ideas That Eventually Became Successful.  Here are a dozen…

Google
We are building the world’s 20th search engine at a time when most of the others have been abandoned as commoditized money-losers. We’ll strip out all of the ad-supported news and portal features so you won’t be distracted from using the free search stuff.

Amazon
We’ll sell books online, even though users are still scared to use credit cards on the web. Their shipping costs will eat up any money they save. They’ll do it for the convenience, even though they have to wait a week for the book

Facebook
The world needs yet another Myspace or Friendster, except several years late. We’ll only open it up to a few thousand overworked, anti-social Ivy Leaguers. Everyone else will then join since Harvard students are so cool.

Twitter

It is like email, SMS or RSS. Except it does a lot less. It will be used mostly by geeks at first, followed by Britney Spears and Charlie Sheen.

Instagram
Filters! That’s right, we got filters!

PayPal

People will use their insecure AOL and Yahoo email addresses to pay each other real money, backed by a non-bank with a cute name run by 20-somethings.

LinkedIn

How about a professional social network, aimed at busy 30- and 40-somethings. They will use it once every 5 years when they go job searching.

Mint
Give us all of your bank, brokerage, and credit card information. We’ll give it back to you with nice fonts. To make you feel richer, we’ll make them green.

Dropbox
We are going to build a file sharing and syncing solution when the market has a dozen of them that no one uses, supported by big companies like Microsoft. It will only do one thing well, and you’ll have to move all of your content to use it.

iOS
A brand new operating system that doesn’t run a single one of the millions of applications that have been developed for Mac OS, Windows, or Linux. Only Apple can build apps for it. It won’t have cut and paste.

GitHub
Software engineers will pay monthly fees for the rest of their lives in order to create free software out of other free software!

Firefox
We are going to build a better web browser, even though 90 percent of the world’s computers already have a free one built in. One guy will do most of the work.

See the others in an annoying slideshow

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