Ideas are the currency of entrepreneurs. Anyone who has been involved with startups can tell you that when you find a good idea, it’s like hitting the jackpot. Yet it’s not always as easy as you might think, and inspiration can often elude even the most dedicated searchers.
This week, teams found a wealth of inspiration from James Hurman, an expert innovator. His presentation, which focused on how to build effective global brands, told the stories of his most successful marketing and branding campaigns, including Stolen Rum and Spark. He advised teams that ‘to take people on a journey of innovation, you need to have a clear destination…how is the world going to be a better place because of your product?’ His strategy is lateral-thinking and crafting stories.
So, let’s tell you the stories of some of our team members. What is it that inspires them to find and follow through with ideas?
Kal – Reyedr
Kal is the CEO of Reyedr, which produces a heads-up display for motorcyclists for safer and smarter riding. He is inspired by the thrill of a challenge, which he finds both in motorcycling and entrepreneurship. In fact, you can draw a surprising number of parallels between the two. The ability to overcome your fears to lean into the corners while motorcycling helps you to embrace the challenges facing you as an entrepreneur. With the right attitude, entrepreneurship becomes as intuitive as cornering on a motorcycle, and you begin to look forward to the next corner or challenge.
Alex – Sonnar
Alex, Head of Design for Sonnar – an interactive audiobook platform – echoes this sentiment. The creative process, for her, follows an idea from James Hurman: educated intuition. Rely on your gut instinct, but educate that instinct by learning about things outside of your industry and even outside of your comfort zone. This may lead you to follow passions that don’t necessarily make sense at the time, but that feel right – and this often creates the most exciting outcomes. She’s part of the Lightning Lab because she followed her gut, and was inspired by the passion of Jarek, the CEO.
Ideas alone can’t build a business though. Teams spent most of this week knuckling down and doing the hard work of customer validation. The office was buzzing with chirpy voices on phone calls, and people constantly wandered in and out for customer meetings. One CEO took it to the next level, flying to San Francisco for an industry conference. Tuesday and Wednesday saw the teams gearing up for the second speed-dating session, practicing their pitches and refining their LEAN Canvas model. Speed-dating was even more hectic than last week, with over 30 mentors getting to know the teams over the five hours.
So far, the teams are all doing very well. We hope that the Lightning Lab continues to be a place of inspiration, with a combination of expert speakers and a comfortable environment!