How do I come up with ideas? I work on them. Let me be clear; the germ of an idea can hit at any time: in the shower, at the park, even (gasp!) at work. But the germ of an idea is not worth sharing. Only a fully fleshed out, rigorously developed idea is worth…
Same with startup ideas. Build on them, flesh them out. Carry a notebook.
One of the perverse things about a bubble in Silicon Valley is, it tends to fragment talent across too many companies, so you get sort of a suboptimal number of successful companies. If everybody starts their own companies you don’t wind up with a density of talent at one place, which is what really is required to build an amazing company, whether it’s PayPal or Apple back in the day, or Yammer or Square today.
It’s not the first element of her argument that’s arresting; any idiot knows that intelligence is overrated in all sorts of ways. But the insight that when we are real and human with each other we produce ‘intelligence’ —as an outcome, not as an attribute— is profound, true, and an explanation I’d never encountered for why I prefer the company of the real and dull to erudite performers distracted by their own brilliance. It is not merely a question of taste: the former converse collaboratively, build meanings with you, surprise you; the latter are not so open to discovery because the dialectic process is for them both a pleasure and a competition, and their intelligence is too precious to them to be risked on banal inquiries, dumb guesses, the fatal utterance “I don’t know.”
It’s hard to describe in words my fascination and admiration of this area. The buzz that you feel in the air. The excitement going through everyone. The passion bursting in people. The dream that everyone has. I truly felt it today.
“ENTREPRENEURS EMBODY THE PROMISE OF AMERICA: THE IDEA THAT IF YOU HAVE A GOOD IDEA AND ARE WILLING TO WORK HARD AND SEE IT THROUGH, YOU CAN SUCCEED IN THIS COUNTRY. AND IN FULFILLING THIS PROMISE, ENTREPRENEURS ALSO PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN EXPANDING OUR ECONOMY AND CREATING JOBS.”—PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, JANUARY 31, 2011