January 4, 2011

What's a Caffeinated Idea?

Truth be told, the name was a domain that I registered sometime in 2005 when I was trying to build a tech startup in Milwaukee, WI at night while working a boring IT job during the day to support myself. I was naive back then and thought that there was no way I could fail in this venture because, let's face it, I was the best developer in Milwaukee. I spent hours at night tinkering with python, MySQL and JavaScript in an insane attempt to create the next Google.

Fast forward to 2011 and let's just say that the company never took off. Instead, I ended up moving to Seattle and working for Research In Motion (they make those BlackBerry phones). Now, my caffeinated ideas are less focused on a creating a new company but are the interesting discussions I have with my coworkers as we take a break and walk to Starbucks. This transition has taught me a few things:

  • Starting a profitable tech business is hard and can't be done part time at night. It requires the founders full attention and dedication.
  • Great ideas can't be kept in a vacuum or explored by a single person. They need continued refinement and discussion to come up with the ideal and optimal solution.
  • For every person who thinks your idea is great, there are 10x as many that are less interested.

These lessons really drove me to create a new definition to describe a caffeinated idea: an idea that's different from the norm and has the potential to flourish into something great as long as it's nurtured. This blog represents my caffeinated ideas on technical topics with the hope that sharing them will spark a discussion that leads to their refinement and use in other areas of life.

Tags: commentary idea
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Dan Hable