Steal This Idea Saturday: Octopus Den

Steal This Idea Saturday: Octopus Den

So… I spend a little time in entrepreneur circles. I’m definitely a wantrepreneur: I have had some ideas over the years which I have turned into small businesses, but I have never alone turned them into successes, either because I don’t have the skills, or life circumstances get in the way, or whatever.

One of the things that I have found is that everyone has ideas for businesses, things that they want to see in the world, or things that they want to do to make some extra money. Hell, you can go to google right now and type in ‘Business ideas 2021’ and get lists and lists of stuff that might work, but they’re so bland and repeatable that you would struggle to stand out from the crowd, or they’re things which take such specialist skills that most people would be unable to start them because of the upfront cost of learning how to do them.

There are others who have a really unique idea but they are so scared that it is going to be stolen that even when seeking VC funding, they will ask the VCs to sign NDAs – You can imagine how quickly they get rejected.

The reality of the situation, I am sorry to say, is that ideas are worth nearly nothing. Ideas are very rarely stolen and even if they are, they are nearly never executed as well as they could be by the original person, because here’s the thing:

Execution is what matters

It’s human nature to have a mind that is looking for problems. We are wired to spot issues – it’s a trait that helped us evolve. Everyone can see problems, see that there is a need for (x thing), or see that their own progress is impeded by the existence of (y thing).

Many of those people could come up with an idea of how to fix the problem, but many will have reasons for why they don’t/can’t. It could be anything from ‘The resources needed don’t exist’, to ‘I don’t have the knowledge of how to do this thing’, to the big killer of dreams: “The cost to entry is too high.” – I will go on that rant some other time.

What I’m getting at is that people see problems, sometimes they get an idea for a solution, then they run up against other problems, and the cycle goes on and on. I don’t know if there is ever an end to the process, but at least philosophically, you can get to the point where at least the initial problem is solved.

My issue is that sometimes people run up against problems that they themselves can’t find solutions to, or don’t have the resources to fix. Everyone has their blind spots and that’s OK – I myself am absolutely useless with monetisation, which is why there are no adverts on this blog.

And this brings me to the core concept of this series: Things I want to see in the world. Things I may or may not follow up on, but would absolutely adore. As a result I plan to just put up my ideas and if people steal them, they steal them, I win either way. So what’s today’s idea?

Octopus Den

Don’t ask, I was searching for ‘Opposite of Dragon’ and went down a whole rabbit hole.

The idea is simple: On shows like Dragons’ Den, people go and sit in front of venture capitalists, and they have to make their product out to be amazing, in order to get enough interest from the dragons that the dragons give them money.

This is like the inverse of that.

Entrepreneurs come in with a problem that they’re having. They get 3 mins to explain their product/ company/ idea to a panel of business owners, project managers, whatever, including the problems that they’re having. The panel then gets 10 mins to ask questions and suggest solutions to the issue.

And that’s the basics. It could be run from anywhere, by anyone, in a range of different ways. I know how I would personally build on the premise, but that would be my own unique flavour and the point of this is that I want to see if others pick it up and run with it, and if so how they do it differently.

So… Steal this idea?