There have been a few interesting articles over the last few months talking about the next wave of business and technology opportunities that are out there. As an idea guy (they pop in my head constantly) I love reading through these to see if they mesh/compliment stuff I think about and opportunities I see.
Years ago I would say that I considered the "idea" to be the golden nugget. If someone had a great idea for a business, that the idea itself was your advantage. I am SO FAR from that today.
Ideas are cheap, ideas are everywhere. If you think you have an unique idea- there is a slight chance that you might. Chances are, though, that someone is noodling on some similar concept.
What really sets a concept apart is having people behind the idea that are willing to dive in and take action. This is what sets an idea person apart from an entrepreneur. You have to be willing to take the risk for something you feel passionate about. I would argue that if a person cannot bring themselves to commit to their concept in some way, that they must not be as passionate about it as they think they are.
Over my three years helping start up Jobster, we have hired countless GREAT people, many who told me during interviews that they too had the idea for Jobster. My response to them was usually something like, "Why didn't you pursue it?"
In general the answers came down to:
- "I did not know how to take the next step"
- "I did not want to quit my job and give up my salary"
- "I was intimidated by the idea of going it alone"
- "I wanted job security"
These are all perfectly fine answers - everyone has their set of priorities for themselves and their families. What sets the entrepreneur apart is they acknowledge these in their analysis, but the drive & experience within powers their decision to go after it.