“Hi! I’m Idea Guy”
My favourite stereotype in the world of startups is Idea Guy.
You know him: Idea Guy has no technical understanding but is guns-a-blazing with his amazing idea (which you can hear after you sign his NDA). Idea Guy throws down $30K on his first MVP, while his developers (who’ve been through this many times before) mutter amongst themselves about how delusional his product is.
Idea Guy’s problem is this: he’s caught the scent of opportunity but don’t understand the rules of the game.
It’s easy (and fun) to mock Idea Guy. What is hard to do is to self-reflect and ask, in what ways am I Idea Guy? Because we all are from time to time.
Maybe you run a startup that knows SEO is a major opportunity and wants to hire a consultant. But instead of doing the work of understanding what type of SEO consultant you need, you just randomly email people and throw money at the problem.
Maybe you run a startup with a design problem and instead of doing the work of finding out what makes a great designer, you try to solve the problem quickly by hiring.
Or maybe you don’t run a startup, but you’re always talking about how you could have made so much money if you bought Bitcoins two months ago (or you’re salivating at Tesla stock price). You’ve caught the scent of opportunity, but perhaps you don’t actually understand the rules of the game.
Don’t be Idea Guy. Take him as an example of the way you didn’t go and recognize the scent of opportunity for what it is: a call to dive deeper and understand the rules of the game.