He further says “the only reason you should become an entrepreneur is because that’s the only way the idea will come into the world.”
What’s funny is that had a young Mark Zuckerberg taken his advice, Dustin might not be a billionaire right now.
It’s not like Mark Zuckerberg dreamed up the idea for Facebook and then turned himself into an entrepreneur to make it happen. Facebook wasn’t Mark’s first project.
He had worked on a bunch of projects from building an algorithm that suggested the next song to play in your mp3 player to a site that compared pictures of people.
It’s not like these were unbelievable ideas that Mark simply had to put into the world. What he had was a passion for solving problems, creating interesting solutions. The skills he learned working on those projects prepared him for Facebook.
And, while some people take the jump into startups because they have an idea that they really want built, the idea itself rarely works.
What keeps them going is that they realize they have a passion for spotting large unsolved problems, creating crafty initial solutions to those problems, building things from scratch, defying the odds, refusing to fail, proving wrong those that doubted them, convincing talented people to help them, fighting off competitors, seeing millions of people use their solution, rewarding those that believed in them and ultimately changing how the world works.
It’s not about that one brilliant idea. Ideas come and go and often don’t seem very magical at first. It’s about your passion for taking an idea, running with it and building off of your progress.
And, so I thank Y-Combinator for helping to dispel the myth that to become an entrepreneur you need a moment of brilliance.
The last thing we need is people convincing smart and talented potential entrepreneurs that they should be waiting around for that brilliant idea.
Those ideas rarely come until someone starts walking down the startup path. And, even when an idea for the next big thing does come, it rarely looks like it.