On Ideas and Starting up

Wed, Jan 14, 2015 3-minute read

Ever since I joined college, I have wanted to be on my own. I never wanted to work for a boss. But given my family conditions back then, it wasn’t quite possible. So I ended up taking a job. Most of the decisions I took, excepting my marriage, were meant to serve this purpose. It is quite pathetic when I think that I still haven’t been able to get there.

For a few years after IIT, I used to be an idea machine. Every now and then,  I had an idea. Many of these were discussed and promptly thrown away as either useless, too long to break even or too much redtape to cut through,  low entry barrier etc.. Little did I realize that most of the ideas are going to be like that and you have to start someplace to eventually come up with something that really breaks some ground. Anyway, a few of these were recorded in a book and eventually scored off because somebody came to market with just the same thing and made a living. Again, I was too stupid to realize that competition is a good sign and is enough reason to pursue.

Then I got loan-bound and had to keep the job. I recently moved to Singapore to eventually clear off the loans and start something. They say Singapore is a very welcome place to run a business. True. But you need to be a resident (citizen or a PR; which makes perfect sense, I wonder what I was smoking). Yeah, there are some ways if you are really keen. But those would need that you have a plan. A business plan that could work and cash. Maybe a lot of cash.

Now that my loan situation is handled, I thought I’ll just generate some more ideas and see what will work. Now I am wiser as well, right? I know not to throw away any idea and I know competition is good. Right?

Yes. Indeed. Only, I don’t seem to be the idea machine any more. I began reading up different authors on how to generate an idea that you will risk anything to run with. Most of them ask you a question: “What is that one thing that you are most passionate about?” Sad, as it is, I don’t know what it is that I am passionate about. I am trying to find that out. Results of this search, an ongoing exercise, are material for another post.

One author made an excellent comment. What is that thing that keeps you awake at night thinking? What are the books you are reading now? What are you trying to master? That is where your passion lies, probably.