“I’m not signing that thing,” said an angel investor when I inquired about a non-disclosure during our first meeting. “My job is to listen to pitches. I’ve heard hundreds. The chance of an idea overlap is inevitable.” In other words, a startup idea without execution is worth less than the cocktail napkin I spit my gum in before the pitch.
That was my first lesson in the strategy of harboring a startup idea: Don’t. We may think our fear is rooted in someone potentially hijacking our idea. What we actually fear is the sacrifice involved with pushing the button.
Executing on your vision comes with a lot of baggage. It’s risky. It’s financially constraining. It’s a ton of work with painfully slow traction. Everybody likes it but nobody uses it. Nine out of ten ideas fail.
Yet that shouldn’t inhibit us from the pursuit before we’ve even left the driveway. Build a presentation, sketch out a prototype on paper, talk to the people around you, and do whatever you can to bring the concept to life. There is never a right time to launch so stop fishing for excuses and…just…DO.
Do it anyway. Do it in your free time. Email an outline to your friends, and pitch the concept at networking events. We don’t always need a brilliant developer, designer, or business pro to validate an idea. What we need is perspective—the collective wisdom of crowds.
“Please stop sitting around. We need you to make a ruckus.” (—Seth Godin, Linchpin)