17
Nov
10

Ideas are like chessmen

I love this quote by Johann Goethe: “Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.”

It tells me a few things that I can apply to startups:
1. Failures are stepping stones
2. It is important to envision future steps
3. A step is like a product/feature release
4. The idea that you are starting out with is only the first step

Over the past few years I’ve realized that a product doesn’t make a company. I don’t know yet what does. I have a sneaking suspicion that everybody starts out with an unsuccessful product which is a beautiful manifestation of the founders’ intellectual abilities but just doesn’t sell. Where you go after this product is probably what makes the company. I think I would just listen to people talk about and use the product, then figure out what really is the ‘aha feature’ that will form the crux of the next real big thing.

But where you take the first step is important. Enter big markets.

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"I rarely end up where I was intending to go, but often I end up somewhere that I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

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