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Uncommon ideas for the common good

At Splash Oakland April 22-23, explore how your uncommon idea can have a significant impact

Lessons learned from entrepreneur by Bart Garrett
April 13, 2015
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3d2e

You are a free thinker. Self-driven. Creative. You are an entrepreneur or an aspiring one.

While perhaps you have never articulated it as such, you carry inside a deep desire (I’ll call it a burden) for the “philosophical ought.”

You see “what is” and you see “what ought” to be. You live in that gap. You sweat in that gap. You work in that gap. You play in that gap. You are in that gap. Your invention, product, user face, software, app—your uncommon idea—will bridge that gap. And so, you imagine, create, innovate, and then implement toward minding the gap.

But like every other entrepreneur you must also compete for funding, whether it be competing for your own resources to fund your idea if you are bootstrapping, or competing outside of your personal budget for capital from friends, family, and professional investors.

Along the way, you must differentiate, pivot, inspire, differentiate again, pivot again, and then inspire again. And inspiring others can come at the expense of your own passion; so you must remain vigilant in inspiring yourself.

This perpetual climb toward success will not only dwindle your own inspiration, but it can cause even the best entrepreneurs to forget the ought—to forget that you had an uncommon idea that might one-day change your little slice of the world.

Instead, the big idea becomes a mere acquisition or an IPO. It is a paltry short-term goal, which perhaps meets the economic criterion of success, but falls short of a life-changing, world-changing mission.

But, what if it were possible to keep that extraordinary, uncommon idea as the mainframe, and to do so in a way that would also serve thecommon good? What if it were possible to not get caught up in the acquisition or the IPO and instead ask the question:

“How would my life look if I planned to give the next 10 years to this one idea?”

Taking a long(er) view on your uncommon idea can serve the common good in three ways:

You will become a better person.

You will fight for a healthy culture at work.

You will ensure social impact from the beginning. 

At Splash Oakland, I will take a deeper dive into the tools and questions we should ask ourselves as entrepreneurs in order to serve the common good.  

For other segments and sessions you'll hear at Splash, see related stories below.

(Editor's Note: Come mingle with hundreds of top venture capitalists representing $10B-plus in capital under management, including Khosla Ventures, Greylock and Javelin Venture Partners, and learn from founders/CEOs including Marco Zappacosta, Co-founder & CEO of Thumbtack and Adam Goldenberg, CEO of JustFab, Slava Rubin, Founder & CEO of Indiegogo, at Vator Splash Oakland on April 22nd and 23rd. Get your tickets here!)   

(image source: wastestincineration.)


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