When it comes to working hard on an idea, there are a ton of quotes that you can find online. “1% aspiration 99% perspiration.” “Just do it.” “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” or anything else that results from a quick Google search. I do like some of those quotes and respect the titans who came before us and made it happen. When I have an idea, there is one simple and useful quote that I try to live by: “Get out of the building.”
“Get out of the building.” It’s such a simple easy way to attack things when you have an idea. You can take it either literally, that you need to get out of the building, or you can take it as a mantra that sitting in place isn’t going to get anything done and you have to get moving. When I have an idea, I personally take it as: I have to do research; I have to talk to people; I have to get critiqued harshly and defend my idea; and I have to inspire others with my idea. Some people might say don’t divulge your ideas to others because they might steal them. The way I see it, If you steal my idea and implement before I attack it, then you deserve it more than I do. An idea has to build such a fire inside you that all you want to do is see it through to the end.
“Get out of the building.” That quote is not my own creation. I consider myself a student of Lean Start-Up methodology and the quote is from a book that I always reference and constantly read called The Startup Owners Manual by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf. The main theme of the book is that you have to get out of the building, do customer discovery (talk to people) and don’t be afraid to pivot and completely change your idea based on the information that you learn from the end user. Furthermore, if the end user is out in the real world, you have to get out in the real world and talk to them, not just assume that you know everything.
“Get out of the building” is what I tell my friends, but not in literal sense. I love big ideas, talking them through and coming to conclusions with people. I like coming up with a creative solution to difficult problems that people are having. I have friends who tell me their idea and how they want to move forward with it, but they haven’t done any research on what it would entail, who the competitors are, if it already exists, how much time equity and money they would have to put into it. (Even if it does already exist, it doesn’t mean it should stop you.) Sometimes people want to move too fast on an idea, create a fully functional website/service before they even have a minimum viable product to see what works and what doesn’t. If you have an exciting idea, take a breather, relax and do a little bit of research, then attack it with all that gusto and passion head-on.
“Get out of the building.” Get out from in front of your computer, talk to people, talk to competitors pull a Dick Tracey, do some real world investigative work. Now, I haven’t done anything big yet, (unless you ask my mom – perfect, Mamma’s Boy!) but it just comes with time. I’ve been working hard on a couple of projects and when they are ready, they will be ready to rage. Everyday I obsess over these different ideas. I analyze and wonder about them. I want people to obsess about their ideas like I do and I hope that you attack your idea/goal/or whatever it may be, head-on and really put some emotion, thought and work into it.
Last note: if you do have an idea, but don’t want to pursue your idea (because of a billion of reasons) post your idea on a forum somewhere. Perhaps make a video about it and post in on Youtube. Even leave a comment in the comments here and maybe somebody who is looking for something to do can think about your idea, do some research on it and you can be the spark of an idea that lights a flame inside of them and makes them “get out of the building”. Not sure what the odds are of a random idea posted somewhere turning into a multi-billion dollar idea, but it could happen.