The next big idea

There are two confusions. The first is that the next big idea must be fully original. The second is that it have no competition.

This is almost never the case.

Henry Ford didn’t invent the car, and there were plenty of social networks before the dominance of Facebook. Madam CJ Walker didn’t invent haircare, and Ray Kroc definitely didn’t invent the hamburger or the french fry.

The same is even more true for thriving, important local businesses of manageable size.

The future of all of these types of organizations isn’t based on a lack of customer choice. It’s based on customer traction.

When there’s a compelling reason, often due to execution, care and people (combined with a network effect), then a new organization can thrive. Because people want what it offers.

Once you realize that you’re not looking for something original and alone, you have countless options. Because the opportunity is to simply solve a problem, to show up in the world with leadership and generosity and make things that people choose.

The hard part is showing up to lead.

We’ve been indoctrinated to join a ‘safe’ venture instead of seeking out something worth leading.

And that’s the reason that innovations often stall. Because it’s easier to be skeptical than it is to say, “I’m leading.”

And the reason that projects often fail in the early stages is because leaders can get scared of competition and choice, when it’s actually competition and choice that are the symptoms that you’re on to something.

In the middle of all the trauma and change in our lives, we are all on the cusp of a huge multiplication of new business models, new funding models and new ways of being in our communities. If you’ve been waiting for a moment to start a project bigger than your own hourly contribution, this is truly the best moment I can recall.