Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Multi - Million Dollar Idea

Years ago, this Blogger CEO and a business colleague of mine ran into Jerry Seinfeld, the famous comedian, whose show, perhaps the best comedy show of all time, was still running in prime time.    When we saw Jerry who was getting into his Porsche Carrera in front of a hotel, we told him that we could write for his show because we knew the characters so well that we felt certain we could take an idea and build a show around it.   Remember, this was a "show about nothing". 

Without missing a beat, when we told Seinfeld that we could write for his show, he retorted, "Sure You Can NOW".   The point to his comment was that he had come up with the Multi-Million dollar original idea and so of course, it would now be easy for others to work off his idea.  Seinfeld had developed the zany characters and the basic plot that made the show so successful.   Since it was a "show about nothing" that worked for years and is still in reruns, just as funny as ever, it all looked so easy.    But instead, the concept was an act of genius, rarely repeated in television.  

So too in business, the innovator, who first comes up with an idea, particularly if risky, is deemed crazy if unsuccessful and a genius if a good idea turns into a multi-million, or billion dollar business.   The line between lunacy and brilliance is often just success.   And, it looks so easy after the fact to all of those wannabes that never came up with a good and profitable idea in their life.   Further, in some cases, there is even jealousy, or resentment, when the innovator gets rich after pursuing such a "simple idea", presumably that anyone could have thought of; but didn't.    Seinfeld's simple idea made him a multi millionaire.   Good for you Jerry, you earned it the old fashioned way by coming up with a great idea we all loved, just like often happens in business.    

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