Entrepreneur, why share your idea?


I recently read a great story by Natasha on the Audacious Blog, about the value of sharing your ideas as an entrepreneur. Here’s a few extra thoughts that I left in the comments:

I’ve been an entrepreneur for over four years, and nowadays I interact with entrepreneurs every day.

“Not sharing your idea is the biggest barrier facing first-time-entrepreneurs.”

It’s like shooting yourself in the foot.  The most important part about entrepreneurship is the ability to learn and iterate (pivot or change).

If you’re not sharing your idea this is what you lose out:

(1) Initial validation

Good ideas have a “wow!” factor. If you’re not getting that “wow!” response, either your idea isn’t great, or you’re not pitching it right. (Ask the receiver of your pitch for feedback at this point. I recommend asking them to play Perfection Game on your idea and/or your pitch. If you’re not sure how to do this, ask me on Twitter.)

(2) Perfect pitch comes with practice

Explaining your idea to people:

  • helps you understand it better yourself,
  • helps you understand how people perceive what you are saying, and
  • allows you to learn how to pitch it better.

If people aren’t getting it – listen to the questions they are asking…is everyone asking the same questions? Could you adjust your pitch to incorporate the answers to the common questions you keep being asked?

(3) Feedback and contribution

When you share ideas with people (and they’re excited about them), then they almost always come up with ideas. Listen to what they are saying and keep their suggestions in mind. They might be describing the perfect solution…but you have to have your ears (and mind) open to their suggestions for you to hear it.

(Some of the best ideas for Copono and Digitribal have come from people we’ve shared with, some incredible suggestions!)

(4) Team mates

Sharing your ideas gets people excited! They may be your first team mates and the ones to get your idea on the ground and running. Keep an ear out for people who are passionate about your idea.

There are four people in the Digitribal team and 10 people in the Copono team. A year ago, I didn’t know a single person in any of these teams – today they are my best friends. Share your idea and you will find these inspiring and amazing people. So much untapped value comes from sharing your ideas.

First-time-entrepreneurs, please consider sharing your idea with people and capturing this value!

If you want someone trustworthy to share ideas with and get some initial feedback, I’d be happy to help and have loads of experience as one of the National Organisers of Startup Weekend New Zealand.

For the entrepreneurs reading this, what other value have you gained by sharing your ideas? Share your story in the comments below.

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