To find out if your startup is really going to be of any real use, take a few moments to perform an Einsteinian thought experiment. Ask: If my product or service had been around ever since Jan 27, 1756 (Mozart’s DOB), what would it be worth today?
Imagine YouTube, for a moment, having been around circa the latter half of the 18th Century. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a YouTube video of Mozart’s last concert or Albert Einstein’s speech when he won his Nobel prize in physics in 1921. What would that video archive be worth today?
What if Pinterest.com had been around since the 1800s and you could see what interested James Watt the inventor of the steam engine (other than mechanical engineering). Or what if you could go back even further to see the interests of Chris Columbus or Leonardo da Vinci. What if Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Krishna or the Prophet Muhammad had been able to pin their interests to an electronic bulletin board? What would that mean to their followers? Quite a bit I would think.
What if Ottawa Business News (a company I founded, now known as Ottawa Business Journal) had been started in the 19th Century instead of the 1980s? Would it have helped tie the Ottawa business community more closely together and make it stronger? Would its archive be worth more? Would it have deeper roots in that community? I think ‘yes’ to all three questions.
If you want to take it a step further, ask yourself: If I could travel back to any point in time I wanted to (breaking all of Einstein’s Laws I’m afraid) and introduce my new enterprise then, what kind of changes would it produce in the fabric of our society today? Would it be a better world? If the answer is ‘yes’, well, you have your answer.
So to know if an enterprise you are creating is likely to be any good, think backwards first before looking forward.