Your Idea Sucks... Now Give Up... Please

19 replies
Today, AirBNB is valued at $24 billion. However, when they launched they were flamed:

This is a stupid idea...
Who would rent their home to strangers?
Who's gonna fund this???


It was BRUTAL. They launched what they thought was a great idea and got their rear ends handed to them. If you're in their shoes, what do you do following the launch?

AirBNB kept going...

Things got so bad that they were LITERALLY - VERY LITERALLY down to eating dry cereal in order to stay alive. As the folklore goes, they guys agreed that when all the credit cards were maxed out and all the cereal was gone, they'd go find real jobs... That never happened. And again... Today, AirBNB is worth $24 billion.

Stop Seeking Validation From Others As To Whether Or Not Something Is A Good Idea Unless Those People Are Buyers...

AirBNB tasted a very very tiny piece of success. Their model worked in a very unsophisticated way...They handed out some flyers, got some people to rent their homes, and went on to say; "let's make this a company." Keep in mind if they didn't make those pennies and create that magic initially, they would have been fools to continue to keep going. So folks sitting on ideas that you're scared are "too dumb" to try... Go get ONE PERSON to pay you for that idea. Or, go get one person to promise to pay you for that idea. Then - when that succeeds, keep going no matter what. Forget what others think!
#give #idea #sucks
  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Originally Posted by TheBigBee View Post

    Keep in mind if they didn't make those pennies and create that magic initially, they would have been fools to continue to keep going.
    This is the fuel of most start-ups...at least in the small business sense.

    Dry cereal aint too bad between the bouts of caviar and champagne...

    Personally I've had several start-ups that flopped and a couple that got legs and in every instance even with funding and copious quantities of cereal it is always a roller coaster.

    Luckily...I enjoy the ride.

    That's life.

    Think I might have boosted Kellogg's share price a few times though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by TheBigBee View Post

    So folks sitting on ideas that you're scared are "too dumb" to try... Go get ONE PERSON to pay you for that idea. Or, go get one person to promise to pay you for that idea. Then - when that succeeds, keep going no matter what. Forget what others think!
    And that's the test. If it sells, it's a good idea. If it doesn't sell, then it isn't. (assuming your time/costs aren't out of line)

    And that person that buys, cannot be your mother. A real customer, who wanted what you sold.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      And that's the test. If it sells, it's a good idea. If it doesn't sell, then it isn't. (assuming your time/costs aren't out of line)

      And that person that buys, cannot be your mother. A real customer, who wanted what you sold.
      And there in lays the separation between an "Idea" and making an idea a "reality" it may be a bad reality or may be a good reality... the reality is you put legs under the idea and gave it a shot. Just that step alone separates failure from success.

      Once you have committed and tried.. there isn't failure anymore.. there is an idea that didnt work... maybe... but THAT is FAR from failure.

      and if you can sell to MY mother.. god bless you! LOL I never have been able to.... she never even bought candy when I was a kid with fund raising.. she would scoot me out the door to harass the neighbors!
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Grable
        I've often wondered what THEY said to the first guy/gal that said.... "Hey, I have this great idea. Let's put water in a bottle and sell it!".
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        • Profile picture of the author agmccall
          Originally Posted by Chris Grable View Post

          I've often wondered what THEY said to the first guy/gal that said.... "Hey, I have this great idea. Let's put water in a bottle and sell it!".
          and sell it for more than gasoline

          al
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      If it sells, it's a good idea. If it doesn't sell, then it isn't.

      And that person that buys, cannot be your mother. A real customer, who wanted what you sold.
      But she said it was a great idea. Ah man, (sigh) back to the drawing board.
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  • Profile picture of the author Synnuh
    They didn't just hand out flyers lol they spammed the living daylights out of Craigslist users to grow as quickly as they did. It was a bright marketer behind the wheel, crazy to see how fast their strategy worked.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Originally Posted by Synnuh View Post

      They didn't just hand out flyers lol they spammed the living daylights out of Craigslist users to grow as quickly as they did. It was a bright marketer behind the wheel, crazy to see how fast their strategy worked.
      You are absolutely right about that. However, you should check out their Pando Monthly interview to see that they did in fact start with posting flyers at a local hotel that was sold out for a convention. They did this before they had a name, or a site. The Craigslist growth hacking strategy came a bit further down the line.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Think about getting a new physical product to market.
    Actually investing in making it and then finding out there is or is not a market.
    A friend of mine is in the business of helping get physical products to market.
    She has to shut down a lot of dreamers who have "the greatest invention ever".

    -----

    As an aside, we had a large 4 day concert in the area and people were putting
    any kind of property up for rent on CL before AirBNB was well known. My hotel
    was hosting most of the musicians and staff and the promoters were paying for
    their rooms.

    Somehow a room opened up we squeezed this one band in. The property they
    managed to stay in for a night was not the described nice little cabin that would
    sleep four comfortably. It was a one room shack with one kind of, sort of bunk
    bed shelf thing and something like a fire pit full of cigarette butts in the middle
    of the room.

    I've also seen AirBNB lodging places totaled by the guests.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Originally Posted by bizgrower View Post

      Think about getting a new physical product to market.
      Actually investing in making it and then finding out there is or is not a market.


      The property they managed to stay in for a night was not the described nice little cabin that would sleep four comfortably. It was a one room shack with one kind of, sort of bunk
      bed shelf thing and something like a fire pit full of cigarette butts in the middle of the room.

      I've also seen AirBNB lodging places totaled by the guests.
      On point #1, I think "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries can be a valuable resource of solving the physical product problem.

      As for that disaster of an experience - yikes! One thing we know about rapidly growing companies is that they ALL inevitably find a way to tick off their customers; Facebook did it repeatedly, Google has done it, Uber darn near takes the cake, and so on... Generally speaking, strong management sorts these things out. In AirBNB's case they've set a lofty goal; become a global hospitality brand vs. "a site where you find a cot to sleep on." That's insane to try to put yourself on the level of all the major hotel chains while not having the level of control of the user experience as they do...
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Really all AirBNB did was simplify what resorts & condos have been doing for decades.

    Look at a typical vacation location, a lot of those places are vacation homes rented daily/weekly/monthly & owned by individual condo owners.
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  • Profile picture of the author Coloradoskibum420
    Banned
    The tech bubble is a modern day gold rush. A few make it and survive, but many leave with broken dreams.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Originally Posted by Coloradoskibum420 View Post

      The tech bubble is a modern day gold rush. A few make it and survive, but many leave with broken dreams.
      Broken dreams doesn't apply to many of the folks receiving these checks! They get the big checks and:
      1. Pay themselves $120k
      2. When company fails; management of what's usually no more than 20 employees get a "soft landing" as most companies are "acqhired." Meaning a competitor buys the company for it's talent or engineering no one really makes any money.
      3. Founders get a pass - meaning they are free and clear to raise and waste more money for the next app that's hot with teens for 3 seconds because failing on your first go round is "acceptable."

      Check out "Venture Deals" by Brad Feld. VC's expect 9/10 to fail. In fact some VC's find it cheaper for you to be an abject failure than a modest success because they want to accelerate towards an exit. If you make a consistent $10M / year they've gotta pay accountants, lawyers, and staff to track the money to make sure they are receiving their cut. That doesn't scale as quickly as getting in early and racing you towards a Series D where they can cash out - if not an exit or IPO.

      Also brings about board and other legal issues... But yes - when these VC's get investors' money to put into "venture deals" they plainly tell the investors "we're flushing 90% of it down the toilet" lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author JeffreyMichel
    So true! Well said, until you try it yourself, you would never know "What could have been possible if only..."
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  • Profile picture of the author powerofschool
    I read about AIRBNB for the first time by this post. And I am really inspired by this.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesBarefield
    Banned
    Seeking validation from other guys who don't even understand your drive and passion is just one worthless task! Learned it the hard way
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    Another success story in the tech world, makes me glad to be in this industry!
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    Trumpia: The Most Completed SMS Text Messaging Software & API Solution.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarkHarnois
    Literally had to go through it all early this year and I was put in a center and being attacked recklessly due to my never-ending passion for online marketing. But I rather used that to propell my efforts
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