Finding Your Golden Idea
The following post is from Zaylan Jacobsen ’21, founder of One God. One God is a Christian street-wear company working with NCAA Division I football players to create the next generation of influencers and role models.
Early this year, I was working on a business idea that I thought was gold. My two business partners and I had been making progress everyday for about six months, with the utmost confidence that it was a good idea. But one day, my confidence came to a screeching halt. I went out to breakfast with a brother in my business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, and asked for feedback on my business. In short, he told me it was way too complicated and that I needed to simplify it if there was going to be any chance of it working out.
I felt defeated in the moment but after careful reflection I realized that he was right. I also realized that to find the value in any business idea it takes a process of refinement. A process that I like to compare to gold mining:
Have you ever seen how gold is mined? Miners will dig up hundreds of pounds of dirt and run it through all kinds of crazy machines. From a ton of dirt they’ll be left with maybe an eighth of an ounce of gold. Think of your business idea as that ton of dirt. It’s huge right now, but there’s something really valuable in there. My advice to you is sit down with your idea and refine it. Chip away at it, tear it down, ask for feedback from dozens of people, run it through the refining machines until you’re left with just that little piece of gold.
Now you have refined a ton of dirt into a fraction of an ounce of gold. That’s what just might work. That’s what might have value. It’s simpler, more feasible, and generally a better idea than the ton of dirt ever was. You don’t need to change your idea, you just need to find the part that is of real value.