Silicon Valley is the banal cliche where ideas come to life. Everything you can think of there is an app for that. The common saying is that ideas don't matter, only execution can bring them to life.
But not in this magical valley. Some ideas seem like the stupidest things yet when they are thought of by someone one in the valley, there are some investors that are willing to pour in millions of dollars. It makes you think that all you need is an idea and the right kind of backing and everything good will ensue.
But take a moment to think about ideas. The big ones. Not the one you have, but the ones think you ought to have. The app that will make you successful. The website you will build that will change your life forever. The business you will start that will revolutionize the world. Everyone hopes to find one of those, and they think it is a sudden spark that will come out of the blue.
We isolate ourselves with a notebook, or computer, and wait for that quick scheme to come and change our lives. I don't think that's how big ideas are born. I don't think Einstein was sitting in the patent office twirling his hair with his finger and suddenly discovered the theory of relativity. It took decades of nurturing the idea.
An idea that works has to be taken seriously. You may have a thought when you are 10 years old but it will take 15 years to refine it and bring it to life. The problem is, the internet is at our finger tips and it is easy to find 100 people that thought of an idea in a day and became widely successful. These are rare cases but google is just so efficient at aggregating them all giving the illusion of being common, making the rest of us overly-enthusiastic about our abilities.
My dad told me, 'It takes fifteen years to be an overnight success', and it took me seventeen and a half years — Adrien Brody
We want to redefine our lives, we want to create something bigger than us, something that will change the next 50 years of our lives. Yet, we allocate an hour here and there to think about that idea. Don't be in a hurry. Take the time to appreciate where you are so far and think of that one little idea you have.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page seem like an exception on the surface, but it took a tremendous amount of work and many years to create BackRub. Even the google that existed in the year 2004 is awful compared to the one we have today. Every day they make improvement.
So the message here is to not sit down and try to think of ideas. Instead take one idea and think about it for as long as you can. Make sure one thing happens everyday, and that is Progress.