When I was in the corporate world, the career paths to me were pretty simple and clear. Occasionally I was at a crossroad, but the decisions were usually easy to make, because the options were often limited and the pros and cons were often obvious. But after I stepped into the startup world, it seems that I walked into an open field with so many different kinds of people walking around with so many different ideas. After I talked to these people so called entrepreneurs and put on my glasses, ideas also popped into my head every day. These ideas are like seeds scattered around in the fields for anyone to pick. But the problem is, it’s hard to judge which ones will grow into grass or pretty flowers, which ones will grow into trees, trees with lots of nuts.
Some people say good farmers will always be able to grow a sprout into a tree. I don’t think that’s true, especially in today’s high tech industries. Many successful or experienced entrepreneurs fail at their second ventures. Some say you should do whatever makes money. Gambling and adult industries have lots of money to make, but most of us probably won’t even go near there. Some people suggest that since the chance of having a successful startup is very low, you should pick something you are passionate about. When the business is not so successful, at least you enjoy doing it.
The decision to pick a good-enough idea to start is hard, even after weeks of research and days of debate. For those who still have full time jobs and those who have not swimed in the sea, things would be even harder. There are so many unknowns and risks are obviously high. When it comes to a group decision that involves more than two people, the process will become long and painful because different people have different opinions and have different interests. So very often we end up saying no, not making the decision or just putting the idea on the shelf.
To borrow Bo’s idea in Startup Pace, meeting the right idea is like meeting the right girl. With enough experience in dating, you will know it when you see it. It’s more like love at first site. The difference is, of course, the hormone will no longer play tricks on you. I did have a couple of occasions that I felt my blood was boiling. One is about a security system but the inventor did not have much interest in working with me. The other one is Ethereum, which I’m still passionate about but haven’t yet found an entry point.
In conclusion, we all have encountered many ideas, good or bad. Some might be obvious and some might be tricky to determine, but no matter what, it is a good idea to document them, share them and critique them. It will help us to gain experience on feasibility research and the decision making process. If you decide to be a long term entrepreneur, it might be more often than you think that you have to do this. And maybe one day after searching for hundreds of times and then you turn around, she is just there waiting in dim light (“众里寻他千百度，蓦然回首，那人却在，灯火阑珊处”).
Idea 1: Pingping product review network (coming soon)
Idea 2: …
Idea 3: …