The romantic idea of creating something innovative and new can get us sidetracked quickly in entrepreneurship. There are 28 million small businesses in the United States as of this writing. You are competing with all those businesses, minds and offerings. The likelihood of being original is difficult against such staggering numbers!
Think about how you buy. You likely buy the same groceries and try one here and there for kicks. You spend money at a lot of the same places – restaurants, gyms, haircuts, etc.
Heck, we largely have the same phones in our pockets. Could you invent a new phone the masses would buy?
Instead of seeking to be original, give people what they want. Be valuable. Be understood. Allow your message to be clear. Take what people want already and compete on being “cheap, fast or good.”
You can build on viability and find where the innovations are while actually working hard to meet known expectations and needs.
There is definitely a place for inventors and pioneers. We need dreamers and challengers. But, you want to be around and be relevant. And that takes empathizing, observing and being industrious. Meeting people’s needs and building the conditions for doing business together are no small feat.
Giving people what they want places you in the game. Being good at giving people what they want is hard enough. Trying to invent or find people to want what you offer can be a relentless slog. Perhaps you can innovate, dream and be original in an art form. Do your business by meeting needs and being valuable in business. If you must act on your originality and dreaming, build a non-profit, perform art or give away your ideas in a whole other context. That might be the better mix for underwriting your ambitions.