Welcome to my blog
Today I decided to start blogging for one very simple reason. I believe engineering and technology makes everything and anything possible. In my experience, this is not how tech is seen by a lot of companies and entrepeneurs. Usually engineering, prototyping and innovation are thought of as a black box or a magical land of possibility, unattainable to the uninitiated. I am here to tell you that anyone can be an inventor and innovator with the right mindset and the right help. If you have an idea, and want to make it into a business, read on!
We currently live in the 4th industrial revolution which started with the creation of the internet. This revolution is still unfolding with 3D printing, cloud computing, and mass customization. It is easier and cheaper than ever for an individual to design, build, test, and market a product. Websites like TinkerCAD that offer free design software that allow anyone to create a 3D print model, and provide the files to order them from a service. Sub-$200 3D printers like the Ender 3 and Anycubic i3 Mega give incredible print results and take up as much space as a desktop computer.
How to get the skills
Now I can hear you thinking “that’s all nice and well, but I don’t have the skills to design something”, I have 2 words for you, tutorial videos. I have a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, and I can confidently tell you that everything I learned can also be found, for free, online. As 3D design skills are concerned, during my bachelor’s I’ve had a whopping 16 hours of classes in 3D design, and those were mainly practicing drawing in a classroom. If you spend just 2 working days watching tutorial videos, you have as much (likely more) guided experience in 3D design as I did during my bachelor.
I’ve mentioned the right mindset and the right help, now what does that actually mean? The right mindset is very easily explained, believe in yourself and your idea. This is a deceptively simple statement, and it has 2 very important implications. It implicates conviction and passion, first let me explain conviction.
It doesn’t matter if you have a world changing idea, a perfect solution to a problem, or just something better that’s already around. If you don’t believe in your own idea, how will you ever convince potential customers to believe in your idea? No one will invest, buy or believe in your idea, if you don’t.
The second is passion, and this might be even more important than conviction. Passion is what makes you work on your idea constantly, makes you go beyond your competitors, and makes you persevere when things get difficult, seemingly impossible. Passion is what makes your idea flourish faster, better and more publicly than anyone else’s.
Lastly, the right help. This might be the most intimidating to get. It means getting your idea out there, discuss it with others, and open yourself up to criticism. This is scary, but it is also necessary to have your idea and subsequent business succeed. I know this fear all too well, and it took me a long time to realize it is unnecessary. You might also be tempted to not discuss your idea or protect it out of fear of it being stolen. This might be true, but in most cases this is simply used as an excuse to not go public. It is a rational argument for an emotional barrier, making it a dangerous pitfall for startups. Also be aware that in almost all cases, someone else will have (or have had) the same idea. The difference between an idea and a succesful business is putting in the effort to make it sucessful.
Get your idea out there
So how do you actually find people that can help you? Every large city has startup communities these days, and social media groups to go along with them. You could become a member of these online communities. Facebook groups, for instance, are always free and have an active user base. There are meetups that you can find on websites and apps like meetup. Posting on social media, and going to meetups are the easiest way to come into contact with people that can help you. If you need a mentor/coach, a tech person, PR help, you will find the people you need there, or they will know someone that can help you.
What are your experiences with working on an idea? Do you have more tips for anyone with an idea?