My 15 Year List of Ideas is a Ready Made Company Selector

For the last 15 years I’ve maintained a list of ideas to build – things that both excite me and improve the world.

I’ve kept it pruned, adding new ideas, removing those that no longer seem viable and adding more details of the idea over time to those that still do.

It turns out this list is a wonderful way to help me identify those companies that I would really love to work with. To help those people build things that I am passionate enough to want to build myself.

Turns out that I care more that those amazing and positive things become realised and are in the world doing good than I do about being the person that created them.

Turns out I’m equally happy to be one of the many hands and hearts to bring them into existence.

One such company is Too Good To Go – this amazing organisation is using tech to reduce food waste.

Their mission ties in so strongly with an idea that I had about five years ago – “fix the problem of global western food waste”

Then at the Agile Testing Days conference in Potsdam last year as I brainstormed with some amazing people including Maria Urdaneta Castro, Ilan Kirchenbaum and Karen Greaves, that idea morphed into “The People’s Pantry”:

So what is the takeaway here (pun intended!)

• keep a list of your passionate ideas, keep them pruned – I spend 2 hours a month on this. Remember to write what the compelling goal is  – what change do you want to see in the world.

• keep a look out for those people/organisation that are trying to build it.

• join them and help, if you can.

I hope this proves helpful to you to remember what you are passionate about and to help when you are looking for a job where passion and purpose are important.

Thanks for reading and I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

@kevindewalt says passion is the fundamental key to #startup success and I agree

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Kevin Dewalt – a really awesome startup investor and mentor and all round nice guy emailed me today about some of the lessons he has learned from offering his free advice service to over 150 founders.
Having spoken with, and shared stories of success and failure with so many founders, Kevin surmised that passion about the space that your startup is operating in is the fundamental key to having a successful startup. Basically if you don’t care about the people in that space and care deeply about helping them solve their problems, you’re going to have a really tough time making it work.

I absolutely agree with Kevin. I believe that passion is the fuel that sparks your curiosity and keeps you interested. It is the energy you call on when you are at your wits end. It is what makes you ask the questions others don’t. It is perhaps also what makes your failures hurt more deeply and hopefully what re-invigorates your recovery and success.

So now I use a passion test to filter the many ideas that I am lucky to have. If I genuinely don’t feel passion for the people the idea is designed to help, I ditch the idea – instantly. Sure, some ideas tease me a little longer and I dig deeper to see if something ignites that passion. But they still get tested.

What I am now seeing is that I actually have lots of excitement rather than a deep passion about many ideas and problems – a lot less passion than I thought I had. That’s the trouble with excitement – it passes very well for passion in the first few days of an idea. It’s kind of lust vs love!This is great insight because it also leads me to explore more deeply what I am truly passionate about.
What are you passionate about? Whose problems do you want to help solve?

BTW – if you are new to startups and need some really insightful and relevant knowledge, I can highly recommend Kevin’s blog and his free advice sessions. Tell him I said ‘Hi’.