So, this seems to be my current mantra until I get distracted to a new one. Past mantras have included…

Write checks, write code or keep your day job.

Great entrepreneurs are unapologetic about exploiting opportunity.

Building an army is useless without an armory (cash!).

All great disruption has a subversive first market that they won’t talk about.

etc….

For some reason, my mantras (sorry to my more spiritual friends for hi-jacking the term) typically need some deeper explanation.

Most startups are playing within a white space of a market, searching for customers. This white space is driven by solving a problem. i.e. using cliche reference, if Henry Ford asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. The same is true with some of the app economy ideas. Everyone is seeing “shared economy” opportunities. Most of them are pedestrian, i.e. anyone walking by the problem does not need an advanced degree or experience to see the problem. Most everyone would see the problem. Ex. I always run out of refrigerator space. Wouldn’t be great if I could use space in a neighbor’s refrigerator. Guess what? You and about a million others have observed this problem. And that is ok. However, those same million people have landed on the same solution. Let’s build an app, like AirBnB. That pedestrian solution is not ok. A great solution would be a collapsible cooler that stores with little space and uses a unique material to cool using no power. (Totally made it up, I’m not a material scientist). BTW, making up interesting solutions and figuring out if science exists to support your solution is a great way to innovate.

Hopefully this explains my latest mantra. Would love to hear from you!