In the beginning of 2001 I had an interesting idea. I bounced it of a friend of mine and he thought it was a great idea as well. We where programmers at the time and thought it might be possible.
We saw the popularity of Instant Messaging applications like ICQ. Remember that one? We saw the primitive online voice communication systems that existed by then. Was it Team Speak? Or something similar. It needed a huge server in order to let 5 - 10 people speak with each other. And it was more like using a walkie talkie then just speaking with each other.
The idea was to make an application similar to ICQ but for voice communication and using the emerging p2p (peer to peer) protocols to ease the load and let peoples software communicate directly.
The basic idea was a simple to use internet phone application. We talked about it, made plans, thought of cool additions, but in the end our steam sort of ran out.
A few years later...
In the end of 2003 the first beta of Skype is released. When me and my friend heard of it we thought someone had sneaked into my house and stolen our crappy notes or something. Oh well, it's cool someone did something like that, right?
In the end of 2005 Ebay buys Skype for 2.6 billion dollars. We nearly fainted.
So, the lessons to be learned.
1. Great ideas have a tendency to emerge at the same time in different places and minds. This has been seen in more significant parts of history as well.
2. That means if you get an idea, it's potentially great and it doesn't seem like there's an existing solution/product/idea, then run with it. Take Action!
I guess I have to build my billions some other way.