The art of ideas

Republished on Idealog Magazine

In my time I’ve written many, many business cases, starting when I conceived my first business idea about six years ago (cooking and travel tours in India… I’ve never been to India, I really just wanted to travel there). While doing my MBA I was paid to write business and marketing plans for businesses who didn’t have the ability to write one themselves and I also won the Venture Fund award for a business idea I developed into a plan. In the past six months alone I have written about eight plans in total.

I’ve probably written in the range of 50 plans over the past six years, and of those I’ve written for myself, one has seen the light of day and made it into a business (in the early days, an amazing learning experience, but not a good business idea). Most others have had various stages of success, but for some reason the reality is that they aren’t feasible and they get shelved.

My point is that I use the process of writing a business case to objectively work through an idea that I am excited about before I tell others about it. More often than not, I am able to work out myself why the idea is flawed, and in the cases where I am unsure or still positive I will work through the business case with someone whose opinion I respect.

Lessons I have learned along the way:

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2011 and the reason for this blog

The last two months of 2011 were interesting in that I was trying to settle into my new role, and reconcile the expectations I had of the role with the reality of the situation I found myself in.

I had turned down another offer with a defined role in a defined company, with a defined future, for a leap into something completely unknown. All I knew was that I would have the chance to continue to learn, and I couldn’t resist the attraction of jumping into something which didn’t have a prescribed finish line or boundary; the opportunity variable was too much for me to pass by.

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