Nurture the Idea Virus

In Christopher Nolan‘s thriller Inception there’s a important line repeated throughout the movie, and every entrepreneur should know it:

An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of an idea can grow.

Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) in the movie Inception

Of course, an idea is the starting point for every startup. Only, a well constructed idea must be like a product. It needs to be nurtured, refined, and marketed. Value comes from impact and distribution. Too often, entrepreneurs get caught up in the general progress of the business and let the core idea languish.

Opportunities to improve the idea abound. Every new piece of customer feedback is an idea opportunity. Every new iteration of the product is an idea opportunity. Every insight from the team is an idea opportunity. Continuous improvement and nurturing of the idea helps it grow.

Ideas are massaged into a variety of formats. In startupland, the common formats are vision, purpose, elevator pitch, one-liner, and origin story. Each style is complementary to the next and valuable independently. A specific style isn’t what matters. What matters is that the idea is nurtured to evolve and grow with time.

Never underestimate the power of ideas and continuously nurture them.

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