This summer while attending a concert, my husband and I ran into an old friend. After a quick five minute catch up, we went our separate ways. In the relatively short time since we’d seen this friend last, the guy had managed to co-start a successful bottled water company. While discussing how lucky this kid was to be in the bottled water business and making bank in his twenties, I had an epiphany!
You don’t need a new idea to “make it” in the world.
I have been brainstorming for the last 20 years trying to find my “million dollar idea.” In fact, at age 19, I actually held a meeting with my girlfriends where we brainstormed all of the ways we could make a million dollars so we could just take road trips forever. Doesn’t everyone just hope one day they’ll have that brilliant idea and they can live a lavish lifestyle?
First things first, most ideas aren’t new. You don’t need a brand new idea to start a new business. Most new companies take something that people want (or even already have), make it better, and then put the right marketing strategies behind it.
One of my favorite examples is AirBnB.com. This is not the first website to give people a place to rent out rooms in their home. In fact, the concept has been around for quite some time and sites like couchsurfing.com were doing great. However, AirBNB took an old idea and improved it.They dissolved the concern that many people had about renting out a room in their home by providing a 2-way rating system. By reading reviews of the houseguest or the housekeeper, people on the site could now pick and choose where you’d want to stay, as well as who you’d approve to stay with you. After five years of business, they booked five million nights. Six months later, their all time sales had doubled reaching ten million. They literally doubled what they’d done in five years within six months. And the crazy thing is that this multi-million dollar business did not start with an entirely original idea.
Just as Apple didn’t make the first computer, Facebook was not the first social media service, and Google was not the first search engine. These people were inspired by something, had a passion for it and wanted to make it better–this is inspiring.
So what if you already have a business? Then you better keep massaging your company and growing it with any possible new trends. Or else, someone just may see your business as an opportunity to make something better.
So while there may be “no original ideas,” there are many opportunities just waiting for the right person to come and improve what is already there.