What to Do when You Know You Have the Next Big Thing

This is an exciting time for me personally. Moving to Silicon Valley, assembling pitches for investors… actually doing some programming (oh snap, Chris can code!), and assembling all the business building blocks to make sure things keep going. In short, I’m busy. But, the most exciting thing, is knowing that you have The Next Big Thing on your hands.

So, I’ve written a small guide of what to do when you know you have The Next Big Thing on your hands. If you’ve already come up with The Next Big Thing, you probably already know to keep your mouth shut, not leak your intellectual property all over the place. But there are a few things you might now have your hands around yet, and I’m here to help.

Step 1: Don’t fret about change.

Whatever industry your Next Big Thing is in, it’s going to keep changing. You, being bright and driven… don’t like that. You want the entire industry to reach a standstill until you can usher your product out on a stage, somewhere.

If you keep thinking like that, one of two things will happen. Either you will become paranoid, or you’ll announce your product way too early.

Relax, you’ve come up with The Next Big Thing. For countless people, they’ll never even come up with that. You can roll with the punches.

Just for example, one potential business partner we were going to approach changed a platform, and now what would have been perfect harmony… is now going to be a bit of a pain to make everything flow properly. Do I wish I could have gone to them and persuaded them to go another way? Sure, but the product wasn’t ready. Oh well, no matter. We’ll get them to tweak their system back and work with ours perfectly… in due time.

Step 2: Continue continuously improving.

Don’t rest on having what you have. Regardless of what stage it’s at, don’t wait for investors or people to come to you. If you can’t make any more progress on The Next Big Thing yourself, do things around the project that generate momentum.

This is the one I sorta have to leave a bit blank. But, if you’re driven enough to get this far… telling you not to take a break, until you’re shipping The Next Big Thing is advice enough.

Step 3: Don’t Panic

By panic, I’m referring to the fear that 12 other people are working on the same thing you are, and that they’re going to beat you to market… and you’re going to be a life long failure because X, Y, and Z didn’t happen until a month too late.

A similar variation on this is that Microsoft is planning to take over your idea via microwaves coming from that Windows Mobile phone in your pocket.

It’s good fear, keeps you motivated. You do need to gradient how likely competition is going to enter your business. But, don’t let it become panic. Chances are, someone else out there is indeed thinking along similar lines as you. Coming up with The Next Big Thing is just one step, you’ve got to continuously analyze, while you continously improve.

I’d talk about ego, and not letting that get in the way either. You do need to know when to fold/table a project, but most Next Big Things have enough trouble with these three.

Finally, if you’ve come up with The Next Big Thing, you can probably come up with The Next Next Big Thing as well. Stressing out about what you have right now on your hands, isn’t productive, and really… isn’t necessary. Cut the stress, improve the product, and get it to a point where the world doesn’t rest on your shoulders.

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