Start with a Vision
Start with a Vision
Almost two years ago, I brought together Corey & Brian into a local bar. Our topic for discussion was our not-yet-created startup and mobile software. I had owned an iPhone for about six months; I knew that everyone would own a GPS-enabled smartphone within the next five years. I’m pretty sure that most people could’ve told you the same thing. But I digress, we weren’t sure what we wanted to build. One suggestion that came to mind was putting the schedule of the Huskers on an app. The idea was to solve the problem of not having to carry around a little schedule card in one’s wallet. Everyone agreed that it sounded like a good project to get started with.
There was one major problem. There was no vision attached to our startup. Yes, we came up with a mantra: “start small, build fast, dream big” which is cute, but when the going gets tough, a mantra won’t keep you going. We eventually cobbled together a vision that resembles the idea that smart phones will be the epicenter of our lives. Cue someone saying “no shit sherlock.” Our vision doesn’t represent anything related to our product offerings. That’s a problem.
I believe that a good vision must go beyond what problems your product will solve. It must communicate values and belief. It must be very visible so that you and your co-founders read it over and over again; even better if your customers can read it. But it’s not enough to just read it, a good vision must be livable - so that when you’re pulling an all-nighter to hit your deadline, you can refer back to your vision to remind yourself why it is you’re working so hard.
What are your thoughts on vision? What do you think of the importance of vision? Do you think it’s necessary to start with a good vision?
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