How Many People Like Your Idea?

Matt Harvey, Stanford University January 10, 2011

You’ve had a “great” idea for a long time. Maybe it’s for a game-changing hardware product, or an iPhone app, or a web service, and you “know” it’s a great idea because it’s been bouncing around your head for months. So you’re at a party, or a family gathering, and you can’t take it any longer — you start telling everyone your idea. How’d it go Mr./Ms. Soon-to-be Entrepreneur? How many people liked your idea?

“No good idea that changes the world is universally regarded as one at the outset.”

Steve Jurvetson

In the following video, Steve Jurvetson, managing partner at DFJ, explains that ideas from some of today’s biggest companies (Google, Skype, eBay) were laughed at by investors when they tried to secure early funding. If everyone likes your idea, according to Jurvetson, maybe it’s just not that “big” of an idea. In fact, if most people don’t like your idea, that can be a great thing as long as you find one person who truly loves it. Jurvetson also touches on ever-shortening forecast horizons, trying to identify “black swan” events, and the impact of society’s perpetual future shock. There’s tons of entrepreneurial takeaways in this short video. Watch, reflect, repeat.

By the way, this clip comes from an Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders seminar. Check out the upcoming speakers.