The Birth of an Idea

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about new products, services and web sites.  Last night, I grabbed my laptop and sat in front of the fire with Seth Godin’s Tribes playing in the background and just brainstormed. 

I have seven ideas and I like them all.  I decided to pick three and really work on them.  The problem that I kept running into is that they are essentially the same business model, just with different names.  That is not necessarily bad, but it feels too much like putting all of my eggs into one basket.  So, I laid back, listened and thought about what I really want and what I believe I excel at.

At NewWard Development, LLC, our core business is in web development.  I do the design and marketing work and my business partner, Bob, does all the back end application and database development.  We use a select group of outside contractors to outsource what ever overflow there is in certain areas.  Our recurring business comes from hosting and maintenance contracts.  I do seminar work, speaking, mostly local, to various business groups about internet marketing – well, really relationship building, as it applies to social networking.  That is my favorite part of my “ j o b ” and I am good at it, but it doesn’t scale online.  Or does it? 

I talk, IM, twitter, and just generally connect with people all day.   If I am not standing in front of a client, I am on a panel or in the front of a room or on a teleconference or typing away about how to do stuff online.  People ask me questions all the time and I hear a lot of “I see you everywhere.”  “You are so inspiring.”  “I wish I could do what you do.”  Hummm… What is it exactly that I am doing that you wish you could do?  I am just being me and honestly having a lot of fun with it all. 

That’s when it hit me.   Then I immediately questioned it.  Can I get paid to do exactly what I am doing now?  I mean, would people really buy that?  So, I picked up the phone and called up Bob and ran my thoughts by him. 

“It sounds like a good idea.” (programmers are not known to show a lot of emotional enthusiasm). 

Then he asked some questions:

  • “Do you believe you are good at it?”  Yes
  • “Do you think it is needed?”  Yes
  • “Will it cost a lot to get going?”  No, but it will take a lot of time.
  • “What have you (we) got to lose?”  Well, I don’t think it’s ever been done this way before.  It’s definitely different, but the more I think about it, the more I believe that this is the best way to get people more involved in social networking – real valuable networking, not just playing with numbers.
  • “So, what’s stopping you?”  It makes me a little uncomfortable – I think it’s a stretch.
  • “Good, then do it.”

And so it begins.


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