Sunday, July 1, 2007


Hello Neighborhood!

Got a business idea? I know I do. I know I have many. Every now and then I start to run with one. I write a document, tell my friends and family, spend countless hours doing research, buy a couple books on start writing the business plan... and then I stop. Why? Usually idea fatigue. I simply take the idea as far as I can with the knowledge I have and then realize that in order to take the idea to the next level I need other people, more resources, more money, more blah blah blah, and so I stop.

Does this sound familiar to you? Probably.

Think of this. If nine out of ten businesses fail in the first year, and four out of five businesses that make it past the first year fail, how many businesses fail before making it to day one? Really... how many great business ideas conceived by people just like you or me who see a market need and way to meet that need, but just can't seem to get the idea off the ground because they are trying to do it alone? The numbers must be staggering.

Now think of this. Let's say you have an idea for a product that will redefine an industry (let's choose pet supplies for no particular reason) and you took that idea and published it on the web. The next day a marketing consultant in Virginia with an affinity for ball pythons and other reptilian play things comes across your post and replies with some interesting ideas she has about a company that sells products to reptile fanatics. Next, you begin a dialog about your ideas and find some synergies between your ideas. Before you know it you both have come up with an idea that you could stand behind.

To document your idea, you collaborate and write a brief Business Vision Document and post it on your blog. The next thing you know, you receive comments from a Los Angeles pet store owner that specializes in exotic reptiles whose husband used to be a VP at and even better, HE LOVES THE IDEA. He loves it so much he wants to help write the business plan because he thinks he has some investors who may be interested.

So... you can see where I am going with this.

As individuals, we will always be limited by our time availability, knowledge, and insecurities to get our business ideas off the ground. In fact, most of them don't go anywhere, but that doesn't stop us from thinking of the next idea. How many's or California Pizza Kitchen's were thought of before they came into existence? How many great ideas have simply died because the idea did not have the power of collaboration behind it?

In the coming days I plan to expand on this idea of what I call "webusiness plans" which is leveraging the collaborative technologies and concepts of the Internet to build virtual neighborhoods of people who work together to get business ideas off the ground by collaborating on business plans, marketing plans, investor presentations and other start-up collateral.

Stay tuned... this idea is not stopping with me.

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