This is personal.
When you think back over your life, how many product ideas have slipped through your fingers? For me the number isn't huge, but it's not small either. Any one of those ideas could have been a huge success. In 2003, I remember starting a business plan about a product that would suggest new music to me based on things that I like, and better yet, things that others like me, like. Earlier this week, Apple introduced Genius, which is really a Genius, but it's very similar to the idea I was toying with 5 years ago. My idea was focused on independent bands, and of course I would have struggled to get critical mass, which Apple has out of the gate.
And that's just one of them. There are probably between 5 and 10 other really good ones.
I'm not bitter exactly. I know why I didn't go for it. I was offered a great job, for which I moved to California, and I'm glad I did. The experience was awesome, and there was some great upside when Wily was acquired in 2006. I wouldn't trade the experience living in the bay area.
And neither can I be certain that any of my ideas - especially my execution of the ideas - would have been successful.
But. But. But. I didn't go for it. At the end of my life, am I going to look back and be glad I was safe? I know, I'll be thinking about my kids, and their kids, and so on, but I'll also be thinking about my career. And I think I'll be disappointed if I hadn't gone for it ... at least once. Maybe more than once.
So right now I am stepping out. We'll soon be launching some new consulting offerings from Eigen Partners. And we hope to develop products too. It won't be easy, and it'll be scary, and all that ... but at least we're going for it.
What about you? What's holding you back? Share some of the product ideas you've had that could have been somthing, if you had gone for it. OR, better yet, if you went for it, how's it going? Or how did it go?