Yesterday I was reading the rumors about Google purchasing the social coupon site Groupon. According to the rumors, Groupon passed on Google’s offer of $6 billion. I thought, “Isn’t that interesting. This site that has only been around for a year or two, and it is already worth $6 billion dollars.”
I see so many people complaining about unemployment and how hard it is to find a job. They blame the economy for their financial problems. I wonder how many of them tried to start a business. I don’t think any of the founders of Groupon or its employees are complaining about the economy or the unemployment problem.
Am I saying that every time we start a business we will be able to sell it for $6 billion? Am I saying that every time we start a business we will succeed? Absolutely not. I am just saying that before we blame the economy or the government for our own inability to find a job, we should at least start one business. I think that would make a huge difference for us as individuals and for the country as a whole.
When I first discovered Groupon, I thought, “Wow, what a cool idea. I could of thought of that.” I bet that millions of people thought the exact same thing. It was not a difficult concept to think up. It did not require Ph.D. level calculus differential equation things. It did not require a quantum computer. It just required a little creativity.
Yet a good idea like Groupon is not a singular occurrence. I think that everyone has great ideas every day. The problem is that we forget them without doing anything to make them happem. If we wrote them down and developed them, each one of us would have hundreds of great ideas for businesses. Any time someone asked us about a new business we were developing, we could open our notebook and share our great ideas.
If you are an experienced programmer, building a site like Groupon is not a difficult task. But what if you are not a programmer? The easy way is to find a programmer who would be willing to be a partner. Many programmers would love to develop their own sites and their own businesses, but lack other skills. And, they may not like the idea of working by themselves. Someone who can bring vision and other expertise to the partnership would be a big benefit for them.
What prevents us from making it happen?
I think the biggest obstacle we have is that nagging voice inside our head that tells us all the reasons why it won’t work. Most of the time we are completely unaware of this voice. Like the cartoon devil sitting on our shoulder, we listen to the voice without even thinking about it. Unfortunately for us, the purpose of this voice is to steal our dreams.
I think it is possible for anyone to start a business like Groupon that has the potential to turn into a $6 billion idea. It’s not a question of whether we can succeed, but whether we are willing to try.