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For Startup Entrepreneurs, Keep Your Eyes On the Only Ball That Matter

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

Every idea is great! If you have enough money. Entrepreneurship is not about helping people. It is the BUSINESS OF HELPING PEOPLE. For entrepreneurship to work, there are three major gates. One, people must WANT what you offer. If you date someone 1000 lives, if she does not like you, then there is no point trying. TWO, value so overwhelming it causes sales (or purchasing behavior). THREE, method and business model so new it causes profit and causes the network to accept you. In business, NEW is only transit. Profit is only transit, unless you innovate. To innovate, you must have profit - the profit is needed not because you are greedy, but because you don't want your business to die. The minute you show promise of making money, 10 competitors would instantly spring up to take you down. You act out of charity, your business enemy also want to do that charity. Overall, entrepreneurship has little to do with what you offer. It has very little to do with YOU. You shall study what others want, not what others need. There is a fine difference between what is need and want. For example, I NEED "FREE WIFI AT HOME", but I never search in google box "how to get free wifi at home". I search for "hardware story for ant bait". What I search is your command. If you know what customers search, then everything is easy. If people don't organically search, the cost of you introducing something is extremely expensive. Entrepreneurship is not thinking. Thinking produces one million ideas, filtering takes them to one. You need to find the one out of a million, not to hold on dear to the one and never act.

The Ball you should never take your eyes off is VALUE.

Most beginners think and think, coming up GRAND IDEAS that solve some problem for some people they can not identify and they don't know. They just hope that the ACTION of doing good will get response. Well, not everyone stops their car when you sell lemonade on street corner for 25 cents, right? doing good and taking action does not cause reaction. You must cross some threshold. The threshold is what veterans know, but beginners don't. The three thresholds are, in plain words: Your audience searches for what you offer You have a new method for making a profit, and a secret sauce for extreme value You make your ecosystem happy that you are here.

So, entrepreneurship is not just about life. It is about Creative Life. It's about the creation level of life. You create a new species called a living company.

Creating a "company" and creating a Lego piece is different. A company is a "living breathing species" - a company needs to extract money from its customer base and support its existence and the "COMPANY's mission to create and innovate". That is why a lot of people are stuck in the MVP and grand idea stage - the MVP and idea are just the gene design of the new species and new business and new value. It has a long way to go and the "idea person" must also be the mother of the business - baby sitting the business, give birth to the business,... you know, regular Founders' job. :-)

Innovation is to create disruption or significant improvement in VALUE. Entrepreneurs go through the uncertainty in the market. Veterans go through such uncertainties with certainty, called vision, boldness or drive.

A new idea is not disruption in value yet. It has the potential. A company is not disruption of value yet, it has the potential to survive. A new product is not disruption of value yet, it has a long way to go, especially through the friction in the market.

Focusing on the "mission vision" is fine, as long as your vision is a vision of the market, not just your projection and "confidence". As long as the "mission" is not your will. Again, if you have unlimited money, any idea can be realized and become "visionary". The problem is to navigate the "no money no customer" stage. That is why most companies die and most ideas don't matter.

As for Improving something - improving a product is often not your business. For example, if you want to invent a new sensor for front wind shield wiper today - you may have a brilliant idea but the business of improving the wind shield is better done with the car companies because they are in the network already. Any inventor face severe disadvantage that mere determination can not mitigate. If you want to improve on a design of a dish washer bottle to make it more environmentally safe - there are a lot of people who are in the industry of kitchen cleaning supplies controlling the market, so you need to work with them. If you go to the VC and say I want to improve something - the chance you get funding is too low - because the risk of you succeeding in improving a VALUE PROVISION is too low. Even VCs don't take such chances.

If you ask a VC, tell them you are "disrupting the food supply chain of the globe". If you ask your uncle for some startup money, tell him you are "opening a new restaurant", but don't tell him you are "inventing a new environmentally friendly shampoo bottle".

For example, if you want to organize a beach cleaning movement and form a company, you need to worry about how to keep your staff members fed. So although improving environment is on everyone's mind, you need to find ways to FINANCE YOUR DREAM.

Value is how you entire people who love you to pay.

When someone buys something from you you attach two things to the merchandise. A price tag and a value declaration.
Value is magic that your audience sees. You give the magic for free and charge for the package.
The only way to convince a stranger to give you a dollar is to give him ten.
You never "makes money" from selling a single item. You always sell at a price that you can make a little bit. You get "rich" only by repeating the act many times, called scaling.
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