Ideas are Living Things

First is not all it’s cracked up to be. And that’s because ideas are living things. 

Between the 1600’s and 1800’s half a dozen people had a hand in the discovery of electricity and its possibilities. 

When Henry Ford invented the Model T, there were already hundreds of car companies in the world. 

In 1827, Robert Stein patented a continuous operation still (patent still). I had the ability to increase whisky production by astronomical numbers compared to traditional pot stills. And they were first and own the edge that gave them. 

But that lead only existed for 3 years.

Aeneas Coffey improved it with the column still in 1830. This was the beginning of the invention of grain whisky and blends as we know them today. Now it’s industry standard and dominates the volume of whisky produced in the world. 

Youtube started streaming video in 2005, Netflix started streaming in 2007. Amazon in 2006, and so on. 

When an idea pops into your head, if it’s truly valuable and world changing, you can guarantee you aren’t the only one that it appeared to. At that point you have two options. Do it first, or do it better.

There’s an undeniable benefit to being the first into the market. But you can’t rest on that laurel. You have to continue to improve and innovate. 

Because the people who come after you will learn from your mistakes and benefit from the market you create. And they often have more money and more reach.

So what do we do with this as entrepreneurs? 

When you have an idea, move on it. 
Develop it. 
Launch it. 

As we say at Wizard Academy, “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly until you can get better.” Keep improving, keep learning, and keep growing. Understand that it will quickly be a crowded market if the idea is valuable. Find your community and spend effort on real connection with your customers and your community. They’ll look to you as a leader and an innovator. 

Don’t be afraid when you find out others are jumping into the same stream. They only have hope and strategies. You have experience, community, and history.

Don’t be afraid to talk with them and build a network to help form the industry you want to work within. 

If you’re not first, it’s not too late. You can be the one who learns from others and launches into the market with a fully developed idea that sweeps the room and becomes the industry leader.

Above all, pay attention. If the idea appears to you and you don’t give it breath and life, it will move on to someone else.

So let it be you.

Daniel Whittington