I really do look everywhere for inspiration. Loic is a french entrepreneur who started several Companies and what he have to say about creating a company is of substance for anyone interested. I will share a seven part series about creating a company from Loic starting here with the first about the idea.
Create a company: 1 - the idea has no value
Here is an opening conference I give each year to the students of HEC Entrepreneurs. I thought I could share it here. Notes will come on my weblog has I have the time to add them.
I think the idea has clearly no value when you create a company. This is what makes most people afraid of launching their own business, they wait for the idea of the century and never have it !
I had a powerpoint slide showing 50 different ideas of creation. My point is that execution matters much more than the idea itself. Very few people actually execute an idea and execute it well and fast.
This is why when I start a company, I am never afraid of sharing it with everybody. Few people will do the same as you, just bet you will be faster. Sharing it with everybody gets you new ideas and very often constructive criticism, so share it.
I think creating a business is about filling empty space. There is empty space everywhere. How many times today you felt a service or a product was perfectible ? How many times you needed something that no company actually provides ? This is empty space. Just consider how big is the demand for this empty space and you have got your idea.
When I started my first company, B2L in 1996,a web agency, there were just one or two other web agencies in France. I started with a students loan of $10 000 and a client, Automobiles Peugeot. As a student, doing a research for them, I just told them they should launch the first car selling service on the Internet in France. Paul Sevin, the head of Peugeot Sales in France at that time, gave me my chance and said "well, just do it". So I created B2L and executed as best I could.
Clearly this was all about execution. About getting the first person who ever gave me his trust in my business life as happy as I could. We over exceeded any of his expectations and launched Occasiondulion.com, the very first site in France selling cars over the Internet. With this reference and the fact that they were extremely satisfied, we then won tens of competitions against other web agencies, Chanel, 20th Century Fox, Unilever, Mars, etc and grew B2L doubling in size every year, with 20% profit before tax.
The idea does not matter. It could have been anything else. I just thought the Internet was about to launch fast in the business sector and large corporations would need our services.
Currently I have about 10 ideas to create a new company, but I will focus only on one, because execution is key and it is very hard to be multitasking. One idea which I like very much but will not do as I am focusing on my new startup is about security.
Home and personal security is a growing issue for most of us. I got car-jacked once and my home was visited several times. There is a great idea here, very simple. The webcams which have webservers inside such as the Axis one I just bought can recognize automatically any person or object move in front of them. Imagine a company that would video monitor 24hrs a day your house and immediately tell you and the police if there is anything, with proof of evidence, the picture by sms or email...
I love this idea, but do not have the time to execute it properly, if any of you is interested, let me know, I would be happy to invest and be the first client !
The founder of Priceline.com has just launched US Home Guard aiming at protecting the key US locations with networked video cameras. You can just signup and look after a nuclear powerplant or other key locations ! Great idea. Visionary.
Don't you think so ?
Andy G. Rodie