One of the greatest superpowers that we see and our first-time entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs getting serious for the first time that attend our Signature Series New Business Incubator™ is that they don’t know what’s possible and what is impossible.
Largely the answer to this is whatever you believe to be possible is possible and whatever you believe to be impossible is impossible. That might sound anecdotal, however, Innovation is driven by inspiration, and inspiration is driven by confidence and charisma.
When you are a brand new entrepreneur or engaging in a new industry and, you’re excited, confident, and charismatic it inspires people to follow your vision and believe that vision is possible. Yes, there are some real factors to consider. Such as, does the technology exist & is there a market for it? However, these factors are largely axioms more than concrete facts as it’s often difficult to gauge the adaptability of existing tech and the reaction of the market to the new usage model of that tech. A good example of this was Google Glass. Google Glass used existing android tech to create a pair of glasses that essentially gave a smartphone-like experience to the wearer. Unexpectedly a significant segment of the market pushed back because the glasses were capable of a few minutes of recording & privacy concerns were cited. Currently, a new iteration of the smart glasses are being marketed but they record no video and their flagship feature is an instantaneous translation where the glasses translate into text what is bringing said to you in your own language on a HUD on the lens. We’ll see how that’s received by the market.
On the coin of entrepreneurship execution, while tales is impossibility, heads is inevitability. These two concepts are flip sides of the same coin and as such or simply two different perspectives for problem-solving.
Problems like most other things don’t exist in a vacuum. Consider this simplification of the problem of self-driving cars. Since a full and accurate analysis would be a book in and of itself we’re going to oversimplify the process for the sake of illustrating our point.
20 years ago (2002) it might have been considered an impossibility to have a self-driving car. Heck Tesla was founded in 2003. However, other problem-solvers such as Microsoft Street’s and Trips, MapQuest, and Google Maps solve problems that seemed inevitable to fix. They began mapping streets and getting real-time data on road construction and road development. eventually, the efforts of these programs/businesses provided the framework and data points necessary to make self-driving vehicles possible. This combined with the adoption of the smartphone and the use of personal GPS allowed entrepreneurs to begin seeing self-driving vehicles as inevitable instead of impossible.
One issue however is that people generally are resistant to change. Once we have a solution or an answer that were confident in we rarely go back and revisit the question. Because of this the experts sometimes cling to their knowledge set and once they’ve decided that something is impossible even if it’s based on old data they cling to the idea.
We can see this in stories like the story of Netflix. The founders of Netflix originally brought the idea to blockbuster. Blockbuster was so positive that their business model was the right answer and that the Netflix alternative was An impossibility they essentially laughed it out of the room. Now, this wasn’t done through arrogance it was backed up by the data that blockbusters had acquired over the decades of dominance in their field. Their expertise became their weakness.
Now Netflix is on the ropes and history may be repeating itself. In the Signature Series New Business Incubator™, we emphasize the ability of new entrepreneurs to convert impossibilities to inevitabilities. It’s quite difficult to maintain the point of view that allows one to wield this superpower indefinitely so we believe that it’s incredibly important to utilize it when it’s available.
One of the exercises that we use with our incubator participants is this: consider your industry or whatever it is that you’re passionate about. What’s happening in that industry right now? What makes you excited about working in that space? What is the logical next step and who is working on it? If the answer to that last question “who is working on it?” Turns out to be no one or I don’t know then congratulations you just found the hole in the market and it might be worth researching to see if you just found your niche!
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