There is no way to distinguish whether an idea is good or bad until it is tried, noted, the co-founder Netflix at an event by Qatar Foundation on Monday.
“What I have learned as an entrepreneur over 40 years is that it is almost impossible to tell whether an idea is a good idea or bad idea. The only way to know whether it is good or bad, is to try it. It is a dangerous fallacy to think that you are looking for a good idea because the only thing you are doing is valuating it in your mind and of course in your mind every idea is a great one,” said, Marc Randolph, the co-founder and first CEO of Netflix at the latest edition of the Education City Speaker Series.
“Successful entrepreneurs do more and think less – when an idea pops into their head, they don’t think of whether it’s good or bad, these people quickly execute it,” he continued.
In the virtual talk, titled 'Don’t Let Dreams Be Dreams: What to Do With an Idea' and themed around innovation and entrepreneurship, coupled with sustainability, Randolph shared lessons from his journey at what is now the world’s largest streaming service with audiences, as he discussed ways to foster a startup culture and entrepreneurial mindsets.
Shaping a post-pandemic future is bringing great opportunities for startups across the world and has created, “the most exciting thing we have seen in a long, long time” for entrepreneurs, Randolph, told at the event.
He highlighted, “Entering into a world with tremendous uncertainty is, in my opinion, the most exciting thing we have seen in a long, long time for entrepreneurship. Everything is now up for grabs, everything is going to be done differently, and the people prepared to take advantage of that are the people who have an entrepreneurial mindset. And I think the change we will see will be driven by new business formation.”
Interacting with the moderator, Agata Braja, Randolph recounted his journey at Netflix – of how the idea emerged, and what it took to become the streaming service that it is today – saying: “The idea of Netflix came over a long period of time. Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings and I brainstormed hundreds of ideas such as personalised shampoo among others before settling into an idea of a DVD rental service.”
Focusing on how to prepare startups for a post-pandemic world, Randolph said, “The worst thing for any entrepreneur is status quo” – meaning taking for granted that if something worked in the past, it will continue to work in the future."
“Before Covid-19, we had a world where very, very large companies operated in an incredibly predictable and dependable way,” he explained. “They could see their sales and revenue for 8-12 quarters into the future. Then along comes a world where, all of a sudden, everything is changing.
“We all know that, eventually, things will go back to normal, but nobody knows what that normal will look like. There has been an incredible acceleration of e-commerce and mobile medicine, but what’s going to happen in 12 months’ time? Nobody knows whether it will stay the same or go back, and that is the most wonderful circumstance for entrepreneurs who have trained themselves not to predict the future, but to be ready for whatever the future happens to bring them."
Randolph advised the entrepreneurs to think how to build a business that is relevant today, and one that will still be relevant when the world changes. “Don’t fall in love with the idea. Fall in love with the problem,” he added.