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Where do amazing ideas come from?

 This is an influencer post by Vani Kola, Managing Director at Kalaari

Imagine this for a moment: all that you see, hear, smell and taste are nothing more than electric impulses in your brain controlled by an enormous machine which needs to keep it engaged even as it powers itself from the bio-chemical energy of your body. These impulses keep you happy. It’s like you are in bliss forever. But, are you really happy?

It’s a fantastic thought — and if it sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the premise of the super hit film Matrix. I remember hours spent on discussing the parallels between Matrix and the concept of Maya, and the dangers of artificial intelligence and robotics. That’s what best of ideas do, they make you ask questions. They stimulate thought, challenge status quo, and prod us to push the boundaries of our world.

While I appreciate the power of idea in the realms of science, art or philosophy, my concerns are more immediate — the power of an idea in the realm of entrepreneurship. For a startup, an idea, above all, must solve an immediate problem, and it is better if lot of people need the problem solved. If the idea lends itself to being viral and the business is capital efficient the valuation is more attractive.

Think of an iPhone. Before it became an ubiquitous product, it was an audacious idea: that a phone, a music player and an Internet device can be wrapped into a single product, with an amazing user interface. I remember the exact moment, when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in his 2007 keynote. By any measure, iPhone is a beautiful device, and a fantastic idea. People were willing to stand in queue and pay a premium to get their hands on the product .

These thoughts were not far from my mind when I ran the half marathon at Disneyland recently. Disneyland was born out of the idea that there should be a place where both parents and children have fun at the same time. It’s also an amazingly successful business — expanding globally, attracting over 16 million people every year.

Both mark the power of an individual idea. The takeaway is simple. Ideas come from people. And amazing ideas come from amazing people.


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