The imperative behind this blog is to connect with entrepreneurs.This blog was born out of a desire to connect. When I moved to the Mid-Atlantic region, I scoured through the internet for Meetup groups, Facebook groups, Linkedin Groups, etc., designed for entrepreneurs, especially ones for entrepreneurs who are looking to form teams. The best thing I found was the Co-founders Lab. Actually, I met some really cool and talented people through this event, but I'm looking to plug into a community that is big and vibrant, also one that is consistent. So, it's definitely coming along, but I want to help it along. I'm guessing that what I crave is probably similar to what it would be like to be at a big and active incubator in Silicon Valley, which I've never experienced.
I thought then that the the best way to connect with people and start forming this type of community would be to start communicating about the type of startup atmosphere and culture that I'm imagining, and to see what kinds of discussion form as a result.
I'm hoping to see this type of community grow in the area where I live, but I also hope to connect with people all over the U.S. and worldwide online. Another reason why I thought a blog would be a good format for reaching out to the entrepreneurial community is that I'd like to communicate my personality, my philosophy, my questions, etc., and see who out there is thinking about the same things, or has a similar approach. Alternatively, it'd be great to hear people tell me when I'm way off. You don't really get that until you start putting yourself out there and connecting with others.
The vision I'd like to build toward is some type of specialized startup community or club that is focused entirely on "think big" disruptive ideas, and that operates sort of like a think-tank.
What I'd really like to be a part of is something like a startup think-tank, one that is focused on understanding the type of entrepreneurial venture that is really visionary - with "think big" types of ideas, and one that actually attempts and supports those types of projects. However, if there's anything I've learned is that even when you think big, you have to start small. This is why I think the Lean Startup way so far offers the best protection against crashing and burning. The problem though is that most people who are focused on starting small, also hope that somehow, once they've captured the niche they've set out to capture, they might one day grow to be something really huge, but they haven't thought about what type of "something" they'd like to be. Some do make it that way. However, what I'm proposing is that maybe there's a way to start with a vision, not just an idea, and from that vision to derive a few different ideas, different paths all leading to the same end goal.
The prerequisite to a visionary "massive" venture is to have a predictive / anticipatory understanding of the technology and the market, but that is barely scratching the surface
Some questions must be asked to determine if the vision makes sense: is it a predictive vision - almost prophetic? Are you envisioning a major disruptive change that is at the same time inevitable, and if you don't get involved in making it happen, you know for sure that someone else will? Sure, a vision can still be disruptive without being inevitable, but only if you have a patent on it, in which case, it'll be inevitable in 20 years at the latest (assuming it is indeed disruptive). If you can envision how to make it happen from a small idea, and especially if you can imagine how different paths or different applications can spark the same eventual widespread adoption, then here's how I'd describe the kind of situation you're in and the kinds of questions you might think about:
You get the technology and what disruptive change is on the horizon. You have a vision for how to get there, but the implementation may start down a number of paths, a number of ideas - small business ideas - that drive toward that same vision. This is because your vision is a major innovation that will affect a wide range of activities and markets. But, which activity and market do you start with? If you have a ton of time and a ton of manpower (and brainpower), you'd try all of them one by one until one catches, and then you try to scale and expand the breadth of your market, and apply your technology to a range of other new applications, but is that even realistic? The Lean Startup philosophy can help you quickly sift through ideas that don't work, but is it quick enough? Think of Google - they started looking at ranking academic literature based on search terms and ended up with a search engine for anything on the web. How do you start such an enterprise and make sure it succeeds (as much as one can be sure of anything at all)? What do you focus on initially? What constitutes a "disruptive" technology anyway?
These are the kinds of questions I'd like to discuss here. One way I'd like to do it is to study what others have done, the ones who have succeeded and the ones who haven't, but I'd like to focus on entrepreneurs that set out to create something big and disruptive. That's the "niche" of this blog: the really narrow niche of things that are really really friggin' big.
Read the static pages, leave me a note, and let's see what we can come up with!