A Yale University student writes a paper for his economics class, the basis of which would one day evolve into FedEx. On the other side of the country a Stanford product design major pitches a concept to his classmates we know today as SnapChat.
In San Francisco a guy catches the flu and struggles to find recommendations for a good doctor. Yelp is born out of his frustrations. And in the ‘burbs of Columbus, Ohio a woman is equally frustrated trying to find a good construction contractor. This leads to the creation of Angie’s List.
See a pattern here? The need to complete a class project, get a good grade, or solve an immediate problem sparked an idea in the minds of four people. You’ve been in similar situations. We all have. You may have even thought, “If only someone would come up with a better ….”
These people didn’t wait for someone else to come up with a better idea, a better way of doing things or a better mousetrap. What they did do is get passionate about their idea.
They took a momentary thought and began to incubate it. They went through a “what if” stage. Then advanced to a “how can” stage. Then a “who would” stage.
You following me, readers? “What if I did this … how can I do that … who would benefit from this and that?”
As your idea warms up in the incubation stage, it can, with some diligence on your part, expand into a vision. Now you’ve got something worth talking about! See, all human beings are thirsty for a vision, but very few have a compelling one of their own. So they’ll eagerly buy into your vision. If you know how to sell it.
Visions can be worth millions. Even billions! FedEx founder Fred Smith is a billionaire. Four short years ago, Snapchat co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy were university students with just an idea! Today they’re billionaires too.
The next time you have an idea, don’t squelch it! Incubate it! Expand it! Run with it! Make it your vision! Because if you don’t, sooner or later, someone else will.
Go out and make your success!