Ugh. When I saw the headline I almost didn’t want to click through. I knew it was going to be an exercise is self-flagellation.
But click through I did and the story confirmed the teaser – a company has made a business out of an idea I floated abbot five years ago.
Now it wasn’t Instagram or Tesla level stuff, just a simple media business that I flirted with and then let go for numerous reasons.
I am happy for the people who have made an enterprise out of it, they have done a good job. And I am actually pleased the idea made it through proof-of-concept. Makes me feel that I have good ones once in a while.
The bad feeling for me though is having to stare at it having been done by someone else.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote about this in his essay, Self-Reliance. It is mostly about trusting yourself and seeing things through even when others may not believe in you, and etc.
There’s a section in the essay about the pain of watching someone else run with an idea you had, which is what I experienced on reading the article.
So to you I would say that if you have an idea, and you think it is truly a good one, have some patience with it. It might need a new angle or tweaking or something you don’t yet have. It might need you to be a little bigger or smarter than you are now. The two of you might need to grow together.
Or it might just need time. The particular idea from my life was a little ahead of its time, at the time I had it. Yes, people scoffed when I talked about it, but I was busy with other things and you know …
Again, the idea isn’t worth even $10 million. It will produce an income for its operators and maybe lead to a sale. That’s not really the point. The lesson for me, and I hope for you is that once in a while you are going to see an idea you had take flight somewhere else. I say take the positive away from that and realize that hey, you do have good ideas before other people do, and that one just wasn’t for you. That’s okay.
Maybe this one is!