One of my friends is entrepreneurial but not in startups as much as small businesses. He told me he thinks of the world as a stream of money that is continuously flowing. When he starts a business, he judges how much water is flowing into certain markets and plan to attempt to capture some of it.
Startup entrepreneurs tend to think in terms of creating markets with billion dollar exits. They focus on technical innovation as if this will make entirely new streams with entirely new sources of water.
It is making new streams. But it is usually pulling that water from some other source like Airbnb did for the hotel market.
Nothing is made in a vacuum. You can’t avoid it, you simply have to join it.
Creating a brand new market is and sounds extremely hard. Trying to be a better competitor and getting just a few of those customers out of the thousands who are entering the market every year? That sounds doable.
When in doubt, follow the money.
Whenever I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I just tried everything and looked at the immediate source of money. I accepted jobs that tended to come to me. It took me around me the world to Hong Kong and back and I met tons of interesting people I learned from.
I helped ZipX make 10 figures in revenue by selling face masks. At the time, it was a very limited pandemic contained only in China. But I saw it as immediate money that could potentially grow if things change.
You don’t have to take my word for it though. There is a computer called MONIAC which uses water to literally show the flow of money in an economy.