Idea bucket

Getting out of confusion when you get similar or conflicting advice.

I was running mentoring session with TechStars then a question was raised was really interesting one. We are going through process of mentor madness that is talking a large number of mentors at a short period of time and seeking advice. Sometimes what we hear resonates and sometimes it conflicts with an advice given by others ( includes friends, family, cohorts and many others in the process). What do we do.

Here was my simple take.
- not all bad ideas are bad. Even if they may appear on surface.
- Not all good Ideas are good. Though they may appear to be good on surface.
- Some bad ideas are really bad.
- Some good ideas are really good.
But it is really discombobulating.

The problem exponentiates when you come across a scenario which is an exception than a norm.

-You don’t have clue and the person you are seeking advice from don’t have clue. Think of two clueless people sharing knowledge skills expertise.

I come across many those who are proponents of becoming school dropout to become entrepreneurial success — if you are not delegating and are a speed learner then it is troublesome .

College drop-out does not mean knowledge drop-out

Either-ways I support being a lifelong learner — but do it only if you want to use, leverage or share your knowledge in a rapidly changing world.

If you sell commodity products of merchantable quality you need networks.You need a supply chain.You don’t need to know everything but just enough to get the job done.

Even if you are working with hard numbers still you will need to ensure that the assumptions underpinning the numbers and reasoning behind this should be sound. I learnt this from Professor David Trende during my days at MBA . may not have been his best student but he was certainly among my best teachers . I use this lesson heavily in startups — founders are telling a story with data. The numbers can be wrong but dig in assumptions to ensure the reasoning is sound.

Now to the simple trick to leverage ideas. Think of all incoming ideas as a pieces of marbles that you are taking and placing them in a bucket you can have buckets for today’s ideas and tomorrow’s ideas. Just like James Cameron did with the movie Avatar when he parked the script for 8 years realising the technology was not ready for what he wanted to make. While placing an idea in a bucket remember to ask your self why you put this idea in the bucket 🪣 what motivated you to do that ?

Person is not equal to idea. Sometimes if we like the person ( think FFFF — founder/co-founder, friend, family, fools — those are vested emotionally and not out of logic) we take their advice seriously without considering its merit. Just be mindful of that.

Understanding an idea is the reason we will implement it. Sometimes we are out of depth and do not acknowledge it. To be able to “get” the idea is the first step to execution. Being a learner does help to “get” the idea.

Hope you now get the idea. Please do share if you like the article and reach out to me if you have thoughts comments and/or suggestions.

©Sameer Babbar




Postgraduate Engineer and MBA. Advise startups, early stage companies and small businesses . Focus on decision support, analytics and scaling up.

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Sameer Babbar

Sameer Babbar

Postgraduate Engineer and MBA. Advise startups, early stage companies and small businesses . Focus on decision support, analytics and scaling up.

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