Lesson #2: Ideas are the easy part.
—Russ Maschmeyer, Class of 2011
At least a dozen times since I’ve graduated, I’ve seen products launch that are shockingly similar to ideas my fellow classmates and I played around with in grad school. We shoot the announcements around and commiserate (tongue firmly in cheek) on how egregiously we’ve been ripped off. I mean, the nerve!
Of course, it’s cathartic and a good excuse to get back in touch, but it reveals something useful: having an idea won’t put a dent in the universe; only hard work and patience can do that. Think for a second, and pick your favorite secret product idea. The one that gets you really excited. Someone else is thinking about that same idea right now. I guarantee it.
Are you going to beat them to it? Why not join forces? Ask around. Research. Find them and start building it together.
Russ Maschmeyer is a Product Design Manager at Facebook, San Francisco, CA, USA.