In this post, we are going to question one of the most clichéd entrepreneurial thinking and try to analyze things from a different perspective.
1. The Myth of Unique ideas
If you are an entrepreneur, this is something you get to hear on a daily basis that your idea should be unique and one in a million.
Is a unique idea really helpful to you as an entrepreneur?
Not necessarily, the more unique your idea is, the less expected and less understood by the general public it is. In a country like India where the 60% population is residing in villages, many still don’t own a smartphone, and many villages are yet to have a proper power supply, one of your major concerns should be that where actually does your unique idea fits in? Now let’s have a good look at our marketplace and answer some of the questions “Is Flipkart a new Idea?” “Is Snapdeal a new Idea?” “Is Micromax a new Idea?” “Is Ola a new Idea?” “Are Paperboat, Swiggy, Grofers, etc. new Ideas?” And you know the answer, the answer is NO, majority of the big players in our country are not the one with new and unique ideas, but still they are the ones who are heavily funded, well known and impactful in the market. None of them are new ideas.
Let me give you one more example, if you are a Windows user, try to use a Macintosh. Everyone will tell you it is better, and it’s also new to you, a “new better thing” just like your idea and see how much you get frustrated after some time when you have to drag your mouse to the left side of the screen instead of right for closing/minimizing the window. New is not always good and many-a-times people refuse to leave their comfort zone. Every Entrepreneur must keep this in mind when thinking about their product.
2. Why the buzz about new ideas ?
Now have you ever thought where this is coming from? Who is preaching this concept of Unique Ideas? Who is creating this buzz? The only people I can think of even capable of creating such a buzz in such a big marketplace must be the ones fueling it, and that are the Investors. Just think for a moment if you are an investor and have some 100 Million dollars with you to invest. Do you want to invest all of your money in only the e-commerce sector? Or any one particular sector? What if the e-commerce sector faces a recession or becomes unprofitable or becomes too competitive? The answer is NO, you don’t want to put all your money in one place, so you need different new ideas to invest into to minimize the risk. So that even if one of them fails the other one gets you some profit. Sounds logical?
3. What to do next ?
First you need to realize that new ideas don’t come easy, and in many cases, it takes years to reach out to people with your new idea. It’s not unheard that many researchers got the attention they deserved years after their death, or that companies halt the launch of a product to certain future dates. There are many companies like IBM, Google, etc. who are developing and in some case have already developed futuristic products but are not available to general public as the public is not ready for it now.
What you can do now is innovate. Just look around you and try to notice how many new things have come to the market in the past 7-8 years. There is the same bed, table, chair, lights, water filter, laptop, clothes, cupboard, car, etc. The only thing which you can tell that is different is your smartphone, rest of the things are still pretty much the same, but with just a little bit of innovation, a little bit of change. And this change matters a lot, neither you are surrounded by very new ideas nor you get to see or implement very new ideas in your daily life, but what you can notice is constant innovation. New ideas have very little to do with it; it’s more about execution, how fast can you think and adjust in the ever changing market, find inefficiencies in a product, marketing, sales, services or systems and make them efficient and the market will reward you. You will make a strong, trustworthy and profitable business. Entrepreneurship is always about making people’s life better, so make it better bit by bit, by constantly innovating. Next time don’t think that you need a very unique idea to be a successful Entrepreneur, pay attention, look around you, find inefficiencies and remove them, make people’s life better and make a strong business around it.
I’m not trying to discourage your new ideas, but confining the essence of the Entrepreneurial spirit to just “new Ideas” is a disrespect to my fellow Entrepreneurs when there are millions of other things that matter, like execution, keeping an open eye and mind, making people’s lives better, team work, customer service, etc. Anything that you think can be improved, can be your next big business.
So are you the one whose idea is not one in a million, It’s fine.
Provide customer service unparalleled to any of your competitors.
Show the teamwork that people have never witnessed.
Create a working environment, where employees die to work for.
Create a difference, that we, the people, your customers can’t ignore.
“Don’t hunt for Ideas. Hunt for Inefficiencies” – The Anonymous Entrepreneur