Sophie Charboneau

A Fax Machine?

It’s very rare for a creative idea for a startup to come out of no where. If only it was as as easy as walking down the street, having the idea fall from the sky with a note attaches saying, “Hey, take this idea, create a startup and become a successful human being.”

If only that was the case.

In the podcast Masters of Scale, Reid Hoffman talks with the creator of Spanx, Sara Blakely.

In the section of his podcast, Hoffman talked about how imperative it is to have a creative space to think about ideas. An entrepreneurs mind needs to continually looking for new ideas and with that it’s important to set aside a place for you to do that.

In my previous blogs, I have written how important it is to continually stay inspired. If you aren’t inspired it can be hard to let your mind be open to all ideas. Whether it’s in your car, like Blakely, or at the gym, at your desk at home, or even at your kitchen table, go to the place where your thoughts never seem to end.

Which leads me to my second point, it’s not going to come to you, you are going to go out and find it. Along with thinking creatively you need to do your research, you need to figure out what the world needs at that exact moment in time.

In the podcast, How I Built This, Guy Raz talks with the creators of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. After I heard this podcast, I was amazed at how rocky the start of Instagram actually was. It made me chuckle because I can remember downloading Instagram in high school, which seems like a long time ago.

One of the reasons that Instagram became so popular was because they got the timing exactly right. I remember downloading Instagram on my iphone 4 just as the iphone 5 was launching the market. It was almost as they could for see the future and be able to tell that smartphone cameras were about to way more advanced.

With products like Spanx and apps like Instagram, it’s easy to think that these innovators got extremely lucky. But, underneath all the glamor and success, they are still normal people like you and me. Before, Sara came up with the idea she was selling fax machines door to door to put food on the table.

But in the early stages, it can be hard to see the success, especially when your newly launched app crashes every hour just like Instagram’s did in the beginning. But the real innovators who want their startup to so badly be successful , will not give up hope.

Figure out your creative thinking space. Sit there. Think. Think about what the world needs at this very moment at time. Go out. Ask around. Do your research. And most importantly remain hopeful. And if that means you have to sell fax machines to survive for a little bit, then so be it.





One thought on “A Fax Machine?

  1. Sophie, I agree with ideas not coming easily. In order for a startup to come to life, a problem needs to be solved and will make people’s lives easier. It’s also very important to be in a comfortable environment when thinking of these ideas.


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