by • August 15, 2013 • Lean startup metaComments (1)206

Beach balls and squirrel collars

We get excited about an idea. It’s a big, beautiful idea. Good! If it wasn’t, why bother?

Our idea is like a big beachball. We’ve filled it up with with our hopes and dreams and visions of the future.

Now, we want to take our beachball outside. But when we try to run through the door, it’s too big to fit. We can’t get anywhere.

To get outside with our beachball, we have to deflate it first. It feels like we’re going backwards. It was so big and exciting, and now it’s all floppy and boring. People are going to laugh at it. It’s not even a ball anymore.

Our big idea is the same. To get it out of our heads and into the world, we have to deflate it. It’s too big to manage. We can’t get anywhere with it. So we let some air out, and it’s not as exciting, but it’s also not so unwieldy. And maybe people thing it’s stupid, but we know we can inflate it again later.

According to pop literature, if you bend a dog’s leash around a pole so some food is out of reach, the dog will just keep trying to go forward. Do the same thing with a squirrel (assuming you have a squirrel collar) and the squirrel will head backwards and unwind itself from the pole.

Deflating our idea feels like going backwards, but sometimes it’s progress. We want to be the squirrel, not the dog. Big exciting vision, little mundane steps to get started.

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One Response to Beach balls and squirrel collars

  1. poopgorilla says:

    typo: And maybe people thing it’s stupid