It’s a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road and if you don’t keep your feet there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to”
Bilbo Baggins – The Hobbit
At Creative Ventures, we get to spend a lot of time in the realm of ideas. We often act as the genesis point for new ideas or we move and shape existing ideas. It’s a wonderful creative playground, but it’s not the final act on the stage of creating value. No, it’s not the sketches and the roundtable discussions. It’s not the ideation or the Skunkworks group. At the end of the day, it’s about doing. The actual application of an idea in the real world of business, of client connections and generating profit while cementing value. Doing is a damn scary business.
There is an insular aspect to the world of ideas. It’s safe. It’s kind of like staying indoors during a storm. When you don’t venture into the cold of the world you can stay warm and comfortable, but ideas are about motion and movement. They’re about making something happen and making something happen is always a riskful proposition.
The world is not found in your books and maps, it’s out there. . ..
Gandalf to Bilbo
Roy and Ryan Seiders are brothers, brothers that were tired of the cheap and fragile coolers they took with them every time they went hunting and fishing. They started to play around with an idea for something better. They made model after model until they figured they had it right. It was big. It was a hard shell tank of a cooler. It kept ice for days. It was EXPENSIVE. It was the evidence from idea to a real something. It was the birth of the YETI brand.
They presented it to a small sporting goods store and the owner was skeptical. “That’s a lot of money for a damn cooler.” Roy and Ryan told him; “this is no ordinary cooler”. After a few rounds of “pitch”, he agreed to take a few, which to his surprise were sold in two days. Proof of concept.
Next came the famous tumblers of which I am never without. Mine follows me around the house and the golf course. It’s a miracle of modern design.
Roy and Ryan are still on the Board of Directors of YETI, which now employs close to 600 people. They went from idea to model, model to sale, sale to a dominate new thing!
It’s hard to let your idea go from its warm and comfortable flipchart, but making an idea real, even in its earliest stages is the only way to really get it out there. Make something. Test a service. Create a model. That’s the road from idea to value to impact!
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