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Taking An Idea to Market

Mar 23, 2024 | Conscious Communication, Daily Trek

Taking An Idea to Market - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

Taking An Idea to Market

Taking an idea to market frequently leads us down unexpected paths, especially when we remain open and unattached to specific outcomes. This requires a willingness to venture into the unknown and the courage to let go of preconceived notions of how things should be. Two foundational abilities are questioning and listening.

Did you know that Groupon began as a side project called The Point, a platform for collective action and fundraising for social causes? But group buying for discounts was one of the most popular features, which shifted their focus,

Instagram, initially launched as Burbn, focused on check-ins and location sharing before honing in on photo sharing. Twitter started as Odeo, focusing on podcasting. Slack began as an internal communication tool for a gaming company. And now it’s a verb for team collaboration.

Airbnb found its initial concept as a lodging alternative for conference attendees. Shopify started as an online store for snowboarding equipment called Snowdevil. And only later became an e-commerce platform that powers over a million businesses worldwide.

YouTube was initially a video dating site called “Tune In Hook Up,” inspired by the site “Hot or Not.” The idea was to have users upload videos describing their ideal partner. When this didn’t take off, the founders decided to make the site a general video-sharing platform. PayPal’s inception involved facilitating money transfers between handheld personal organizers.

Nintendo started as a playing card company. Nintendo, before video gaming, tried several different business ventures, including a taxi company, a TV network, and a love hotel chain.

The Courage to Take An Idea to Market

Yes, there are many examples of companies that began with different visions than what they eventually became.

Taking Netflix as another example, it embarked on its journey as a video rental service that operated through mail, complete with due dates and late fees. Then transformed into a subscription-based service, eliminating the hassle of returns and late charges. The real shift came nine years post-launch, transitioning into a streaming service.

It could be luck or courage to take the first step. But first, we put the idea out in the world. Testing it through questioning and listening. It often requires the courage to experiment and a high level of awareness of what works and what doesn’t. Like nature, bringing an idea to market has a life of its own. It doesn’t follow a rigid playbook or best practices.

It takes curiosity and a willingness not to have all the answers. There is no authority figure outside ourselves to trust.

Life is not linear and neither is taking an idea to market. It’s a winding path of ideas, experiments, setbacks, and breakthroughs. A relentless process of iteration, learning from missteps, and adapting to the ever-changing landscape in front of us. An ancient technology like dialogue leads to awareness, connection and community.

Testing an idea in the real world, learning from the feedback received, and being prepared to detach are essential steps. The willingness to evolve, paired with persistence and a sprinkle of love, can turn the most humble beginnings into the unexpected. Kind of like our lives when we learn to trust the currents.

P.S. On a different note, I’ve encountered some email issues lately with sending the Daily Trek. Despite the post being ready to ship, recent platform changes have caused it to get stuck. I write these daily, in the moment, and depend on external forces to distribute them.

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