This post is written as I’m stood at the metaphorical fork in the road about to begin a journey that I know tens of thousands of people have embarked upon before me. One arrives at this point having played mental tennis with an idea that you eventually convince your self is feasible and of value to a large quantity of potential customers or users. To get there you have successfully traversed a difficult route of self discovery, reflection and doubt before definitively deciding it is sound and worthy of continuation along the road of research and development.
The fork in the road presents two distinct antagonistic options; one of action and the other of inaction. One returns you to the start having done nothing to realise the dream, the other is a dark road, fraught with worry, stress, despair and potentially with success but with no conceivable end in sight. This road of action is littered with obstacles which consistently challenge you to reverse course and revert to the process of nothingness.The first challenge of starting up a start up then is simple: Do something. By doing something, anything at all, it affords you the prospect of discovery and the chance to learn.
Doing something is the paradigm shift in thinking required to enable progress. Destruction of procrastination as an option ironically takes time. The modern world has made it even harder, doing nothing has never been so easy. Got a spare few hours? They can disappear as quickly as unlocking your smart phone. For me then this affords opportunity. By training yourself to do something when others are perpetually in a state of inaction, seduced by the allure of technology, gives you an opportunity to progress and produce something of value. Taking those first steps, breaking away from the burden of modern distraction, are what is required to begin the journey.
An idea is simply that: a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action. There is no value in an idea only the possibility of a solution. A million people before you have had an ideas and a million after will have a million more. If you do nothing an idea will forever remain only a concept in your mind without the possibility of value. By doing something you immediately add value. Value could be the discovery that your idea is misplaced or the value could be derived from the lesson learned or the data obtained providing further value to future ideas which are better informed. Conversely what is so special about your idea that a million others before you haven’t already dismissed the same idea already…
Currently I’m taking those first tentative steps. I have an idea, I believe in it and now comes the opportunity for progress. Will this progress or will I succumb to the pressures and distractions of modern life? Who knows, but the prospect of self discovery and development is one that breeds excitement. Im a realist who understands this might not be the time that an idea succeeds but i understand that process will equip me with the skills to succeed in the future. This brings me to the second challenge of stating up a startup: Always be prepared to learn from failure. Failure is one step closer to success and provides valuable feedback about what was good and equally as importantly what was bad about an idea. Without the opportunity for failure you will continue to blindly wander in the dark devoid of any knowledge to reflect upon and develop in the future.