I am 17, I got an idea ...

Updated: Jul 28

A lot of people ask this question. "I am 17, I want to do business. I don't have skills, I don't have money, but I got an idea." Help me, is it worth anything?


You need to know four things when you ask this:

  1. Every idea is good. If you can execute it, the idea is yours. Every idea is good for someone. Find that someone.

  2. There is no "new idea". Every new idea has been thought about by someone before. Look up, don't sit on your idea. An idea is "new" to you but may not be new to the world at all.

  3. An idea is good ONLY when you find others who ALSO like the idea. Ideas and products are not important - people pay you if they like you.

  4. Every idea should have four parts. The idea part. The business part. The DO IT part. The mission part (why do I do it). If you start an underwear company, your customers would buy from you not because your underwear is special, but because YOU ARE SPECIAL.

  5. If you don't have a good idea, here is how to make one. To start, you find people first, and then invent for their problems. You go to market first, and observe people's needs there, observe competitors.

Remember that:

  1. Reading books never beat failing and learning on your own.

  2. To make things easy, you go the hard way. That is the path less taken.

  3. To succeed, you must start your first failure.



When you are young, do three things with or without school:

  1. Learn to build something and better yet, FINISH building something on your own.

  2. Have a reputation, build your reputation. For example, you can write one very good blog article on the latest subject and become an expert.

  3. Get experience. The world is full of traps, not opportunities. Experience is the knowledge that no one bother to write in books and no one bothers to teach. It is 100000 times bigger than the library of Oxford University.

  4. Go to markets and observe. Every market has countless opportunities.

This is a frame grab of a video on farmers catching feral hogs. The hogs damage crops and people build elaborate food bait traps for them. Notice that young feral hogs are already in the enclosure area when the adults are very cautious Startup is like this, life is like this. You want to take risks, you want to fail, but you also must realize that lack of experience is a double edged sword - you must try to gain experience. Become experienced when you are still young is golden.

This is a frame grab of a video on farmers catching feral hogs. The hogs damage crops and people build elaborate food bait traps for them. Notice that young feral hogs are already in the enclosure area when the adults are very cautious Startup is like this, life is like this. You want to take risks, you want to fail, but you also must realize that lack of experience is a double edged sword - you must try to gain experience. Become experienced when you are still young is golden.

Be the world's number on authority on a subject.

General knowledge such as the things you can read on internet and find in books don't matter - the world cares about knowledge BEYOND books. Find a place one inch wide and one mile deep, and totally dominate that silo.

Success is a skill, not a destiny. Practice. Train.

Seven side hustles you can start from your couch.

https://youtu.be/cSK_S8XsWEY How to train for startup.


When you are 17, fail freely!

With every business failure, you graduated from Harvard one time. It is reward, not shame.


Failure is indication you are trying hard, is indication you are learning. Don't be afraid to fail.

"Is this a good idea"?

An idea can be a thousand things. For example, your idea is "building computer", but the business idea is "Sell xxx computer to yyy people and make profit by zzz and attract people to you by mmm". Turn your idea into a business concept. Try it.


Never Try.


Many people will say, hmmm, I will just give it a try. As Yoda say, "Do, never try". You would rather "do and fail" than "try and get lucky".


Do a business, even if it is a practice.


Line up the five things and pull the trigger:

  1. your skill;

  2. your target audience;

  3. your target audience's value or pain point or problems;

  4. your capital and startup up money, maybe zero;

  5. Market where you meet your buyer , for example social network or amazon.

build it, pull the trigger, get on social network and broadcast to these people, and sell!

You may fail to take an opportunity (which is your skill) THIS TIME, but it is way better than just taking a chance.


Don't think if it is a good idea ir not. Pretend it is. And execute. It takes a clever educated man to come up with ideas, it takes a seasoned genius to execute it.


There is no idea that would automatically turn into reality on their own. No One Cares about an idea or the realization of it.


If you try, you will learn nothing. If you do and fail, you will learn everything.


Do IT. Don't talk.

Show. Don't tell.

The journey of an idea on the way to be realized.


How to design an idea


How to execute an idea


Spending more time turning your idea into reality than protecting it.


There are too many ideas. There are gazillion ideas.


You can only focus on one. You must focus on only one. Find your only one. When the focus, the world opens and you get rich.


The first try always fails. Success is "succeeding in identifying all failures". So go ahead, fail. Leap of faith.


There is no such thing as ordinary success or accidental success. The only way is the hard way, that is the ONLY SECRET of life.
Every little thing on earth, a blade of grass, a little flower, a small mom-pop store on the road, is a result of careful planning, careful preparation, failures and experiments, and magic.

Nothing is so special, because everything is special.

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