Entrepreneurship 102

Tag this “TotallyGetsIt.”

Found it on Slashdot. Since getting a business degree – What the hell was I thinking for two years and the price of Porsche? – I get a lot of business ideas thrown my way. For all the frameworks and models I’ve learned, my executive producer at American Experience pretty much gave me the same advice a decade before enrolling in an MBA program – for free. I should have cut her a check on the spot.

I especially like Myth 1, A brilliant idea will make me rich.

A brilliant idea is neither necessary nor sufficient for a successful business, although all else being equal it can’t hurt. Microsoft is probably the canonical example of a successful business, and it has never had a single brilliant idea in its entire history.

And Myth 3, Someone will steal your idea if you don’t protect it.

No one gives a damn about your idea until you actually succeed and by then it’s too late. Even on the off chance that you do manage to stumble across someone who is as excited about your idea as you are, if they have any brains they will join you rather than try to beat you. (And if they don’t have any brains then it doesn’t matter what they do.)

I can’t tell you how many people want to spend gazillion bucks on a patent before doing anything else, or the number of people who ask me to sign an NDA. Believe me. I’m busy enough with my own crazy ideas. I don’t need nor want yours, even if it is better than mine.

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