The Defining Moment

When does an idea become a business?

It might start as a little spark of imagination out of nowhere, or an insight into how things could be better. Maybe you looked systematically at trends in your area of interest. Perhaps you saw a concept that could be applied elsewhere, or got frustrated with an unsatisfactory experience.

Whatever the source of your business idea, you soon realise there is a big gap between concept and reality.

So you look around, do some research, and bounce the idea off a few other people. You think it through, imagine variations on the theme, and flesh out a few details of how it might work. Through this process, your confidence grows. "This idea has real potential", you think to yourself. Plenty of uncertainty remains, but you’ll never be able to eliminate all of that without actually having a go.

And so the defining moment arrives – do you believe in the idea enough to commit to making it a business? Because if you don’t believe in your idea, then no-one else will.

The start-up phase of a business requires a snowball effect. The person with the initial idea has to generate enough momentum that the business takes on a life of its own.

It starts with their own belief in the opportunity and cascades out to others. Family, co-founders, potential business partners, customers, suppliers, investors & employees, … the list goes on. At some point, enough of the right people are convinced it will work – and magically, your idea becomes a early stage business.

It’s not incorporating a company that creates a new business. Instead, it’s the growing belief in the concept, cascading out to everyone whose involvement is required for success.

As a founder or early participant, you have to act with confidence in the business well before it appears to justify it. You see its potential, whereas others can only see a few scraps of paper and wild ideas. But it’s your belief, and ability to build similar confidence in others, that turns your idea into a business.

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