When we come across an app or a solution to day-to-day problems, sometimes we tend to hear from our friends or colleagues saying, I had the same idea a few years ago but someone else has implemented it already.
With the advancement of technology, tools, and a strong ecosystem for startups, entrepreneurs are born every day and they are trying to solve problems.
In this post, I’d like to discuss my own experience of implementing and not implementing ideas, how I share my ideas with my friends, and also maintain the inventory of ideas.
1) Allaboutschools.info — Took a few strides before a grinding halt
About 5–6 years ago, we had come up with the idea of building a directory of schools and listing out every possible detail of schools around us. We wanted to reduce the burden of school searching by aspiring parents by providing first-hand information about the schools around their vicinity. For this, we started building the database of schools by searching on the internet and also physically reaching out to schools. We’ve hired interns who also contributed to the initiative. But we couldn’t move forward beyond 20% of implementation due to various reasons.
2) Rent Gold and precious jewelry online — Idea shelved during the brainstorming phase
Gold and precious jewelry are something which is always in demand. No matter how many gold ornaments someone possesses, they always want more and they like someone else’s design. Also, people get bored of jewelry designs after wearing them a few times and they want more. Gold prices have been soaring and in the case of middle and lower-income category families, it is difficult to purchase gold jewelry and stay up to date on the designs/trends. Though exchange options are offered by gold stores, they burn a hole in the pocket in terms of value-added charges(making+ wastage) which will be anywhere between 10–30% of the total value.
We thought of launching an app that facilitates giving and taking gold jewelry on rent from people. During the brainstorming phase, we were scared by the logistics issues that need to be addressed. What if the customer replaces gold ornaments with fake gold, what happens if the jewelry is damaged, how to deal with shipping (Can we trust the delivery boys), etc?
3) Online Pharmacy — A friend’s idea:
One of my friends always used to think about launching Online Pharmacy when Amazon was launched in India in 2013. That guy thought too much about the problems like how to deal with getting prescriptions from customers, dealing with the Department of Pharmaceuticals for getting approvals, etc.
My friend was not that serious and it never moved forward. Fast forward to 2020, numerous startups have emerged in the online pharma sales domain e.g. Netmeds, pharmeasy, 1mg. My friend still claims that was my idea but someone else has implemented it.
Do any of these resonate with you?
I have a few more stories to share but the crux remains the same. Ideas were not implemented because the ideators focussed on the problems more than how to overcome those problems.
If we retrospect why we are not able to make the cut, the following things become apparent.
1) Everyone has ideas but only a few have the courage to take the idea forward.
2) Thinking too much about problems than finding solutions to the anticipated problems
3) Fear of failure — what if I fail? Can I convince and onboard customers? Will customers trust our platform? Self-doubt is a really bad thing and one of the most common causes of failure. Failing to start! Unfortunately, we are used celebrate success but don’t value failures. Failures are not final and fatal. They teach us lessons and help us become wise.
4) Not sharing and/or validating ideas with others — This is another common mistake that aspiring entrepreneurs make. They think that by sharing their ideas with others, someone else might copy them. Hence they keep the idea to themselves without validating it with others. Sometimes, they take the leap of faith assumption and may get started but fail miserably at launch.
5) Too much analysis — People get into analysis paralysis and spend time only discussing the idea but never move forward with the implementation
6) Part-Time entrepreneurship — The success rate of part-time entrepreneurship is exponentially lower than those who get into full-time entrepreneurship. Quitting the job will lead to the seriousness and also help in giving your 100% to the idea.
These are purely my observations and I am sure there is something to contribute by any failed or not started entrepreneur. Please do not hesitate to share your observations, learning, etc.
Also, I am curious to understand from you what you do when you have a Eureka moment or when some interesting idea pops out of your mind.
Do you shelve it or jump right into the implementation?
Thanks for reading!
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