I’ve recently read an article recently about Lachy Groom, 17 year old entrepreneur, who has founded at least 4 internet startups by this age, and he’s just going on. The article does go into some detail about how has his ideas, and most of them seem to be simple stuff: he have seen an opportunity to fill in. Build or create something quick, then move on to other opportunities. This “do small things but do many of them” attitude is really appealing to me. That’s maybe because I’m usually having a lot of small ideas, and I try to get as many of them as possible out of my head, because they are really a pain to carry around.
Compared to this, many people are looking for the One Idea, the thing that makes everything right and will be around forever plus one day, and they will never have to come up with another plan, maybe just adjust this one. It’s pretty much like how Facebook looks, I don’t really think Mark Zuckerberg will do anything besides that ever again, which might or might not be a good thing. Either way, Facebook tries to solve problems in a particular and fairly limited area.
If entrepreneurship and innovation is about creating value, then I’d probably like to see more people doing lots of small stuff. Solve our little problems so we can move on doing the big ones. Experiment, learn, and grow with the things you are building. Also, every big thing started from small, never know without trying which one is going to be the watershed.
I think there’s actually a third kind of entrepreneur, that comes out of the most successful ones among the ranks of peers to Lachy Groom, who end up being something like Elon Musk or Richard Branson. The former is heading SpaceX, Tesla Motors and SolarCity, the latter the Virgin empire. Both of them are doing many-many things, but these things also grow up to be huge, solving huge and important problems. I think they are the people I really want to set my eyes on as great examples. In the mean time, Lachy (half my age) is giving me a lesson on how to do these things. So now that the weekend is coming, it will be about spotting the opportunities around me, and choosing something to actually act on.