Everyone Has a Story … It’s your story, you write it. These words echo often in my thoughts.
Similar words were once said by internet entrepreneur Chris Michel when talking to a Harvard Business School class about entrepreneurship. It’s a story that continues to inspire me.
As it was told to me, there was a student, from Brazil who said he planned to copy a business idea from the US and bring it to Brazil. Chris’s response was this: “Well, you can make a lot of money doing that, but at the end of the day when it’s no longer about money. And you have enough, you will have to have a story to tell. Everyone has a story”. This is paraphrased but the lesson was strong.
There are three famous brothers, Germans who created Rocket Internet, an incubator company built to clone popular startup ideas. These included Groupon, EBay, Facebook, VeriSign.
The Samwer brothers weren’t embraced for their strategy. They have been called unethical parasites. A startup exists to make money, yes. Bbut that’s not the basis upon which it was created.
Startups are temporary companies that solve a larger problem.” -Steven Blank
Startups are created by innovative problem solvers who see something they don’t like, something they wish to change, or something they could improve. They then come up with a solution. Entrepreneurs work nearly 24/7 (even in their sleep!) and take great risks and sacrifices to solve these problems effectively. They are artists, scientists, creators, persistent optimists, and childishly naive. They are dreamers and world changers.
Copying someone’s idea has nothing to do with innovation. It’s just a cheap way to get rich.
Look at your life from the end to present. What do you want people to say about you, alive or dead? Is your life filled with happiness or emptiness? Write a book about your life that you would want to read. About YOUR life, not someone else’s life. It’s not that hard to think about it, because you really do know what you can live with. I would think it’d be hard to live with yourself for blatantly stealing from someone else and calling it your very own. Harder than it would be to try something and fail.
Giving credit where credit is due and true innovation is what inspires more innovation, more entrepreneurship, and progression. Better to write a book that ends in originality. Even if it doesn’t get you rich per se, it will be a much better story to tell.
What chapter are you on in your book and how does it end?