I met Frans Johansson during my time at Brown (he is a fellow alum). At the time he had just released his excellent book The Medici Effect. The key insight was that good ideas increasingly happen at ‘The Intersection’ of different fields/ways of thinking. So mix up trash removal and bee-keeping, or Japanese cuisine and organic chemistry – and new ideas will flow.
Frans just released The Click Moment. His thinking is transforming the way I think about creating new businesses.
- Success is random, not planned. He gives extremely convincing arguments from years of research to prove this point. I’m pretty much with him.
- In order to capitalize on this:
- Bring your mind to ‘The Intersection’ and have a bunch of interesting ideas.
- Place *many* small bets and carefully watch what takes off.
- Double down when you have a win.
‘Click’ to Create a Company
I want to build a hugely valuable company in the broad space of ‘helping people become fucking awesome.’ Zeo and sleep certainly fits this mold. Other areas of interest range from productivity to nutrition to education. Using the above methodology I should:
- Seed my mind with tons of random interesting stuff. Relevance is ‘anything that is interesting.’ Just sponge on books, movies, conferences, dinner conversations, etc.
- Collect spontaneous ideas as they occur, and deliberately brainstorm on a regular basis. For a great treatise on this see a recent Altucher post.
- Create a filter. What ideas am I PASSIONATE about? If ideas aren’t extremely exciting on day one ditch them immediately. Now write down the immediate next step on creating a business for each of those ideas.
- example: Business idea – create a Pomodoro app that links people together through a system of mutual accountability to get stuff done. Immediate next step – call a friend and agree to try this via Skype for a half-day of work.
This feels right. I’ve been extremely prone to over-analyze ideas, discard ideas as impractical, and generally rationalize things as if I could predict the future. I can’t. You can’t. Have interesting ideas. Try shit. Pickup on what works. Will see what turns up in the next few weeks!