Nothing’s Shocking

In honor of Jane’s Addiction releasing a new album last week, we have a post called “Nothing’s Shocking.” As a note, much of this blog and my professional aspirations can be summed up by Jane’s front man Perry Farrell who once sang…

“I am skin and bones, I have pointy nose…but it MOTH$*%#*FU(%RING MAKES ME TRY!”

Well said, Perry. Well said.

Anyway, I read a post on Hacker NEws today detailing the trials and tribulations of a startup that was, essentially, trying to find a way to match people with each other for “unique experiences.” So you would use their site to find someone to teach you how to knit or to guide you on a hike or something. This idea sucks. And after a few months of spending investor money and wondering why no one used the site, they realized it sucked also. So they went back to their “original” idea of making it easier for people to book/reserve services and experiences online. The idea is to give people a way to sign up for Kayak lessons or canoe rentals online. They are essentially trying to improve scheduling for services that don’t really have a huge online presence.

The founders are insistent that this new thing they have built solves a real problem. Well, gee whiz, don’t let serious problems like cancer and depleted resources and over-priced college education get in the way…make sure you solve a REAL PROBLEM!#!@#@! like the countless frustration experienced by BILLIONS every day as they try to schedule when a boat tour guide will be available.

I swear, its almost as if people are starting “businesses” without any idea of what they are actually going to accomplish. SOlving a problem isn’t enough. There are lots of problems out there and NOT ALL OF THEM NEED TO BE SOLVED. We’ve learned to live with the fact that gas pumps will try to upsell you with a car wash even when it is raining outside. We’ve learned to tolerate inefficient drive thru packaging at Burger King. We have adapted to a lot of things and i’m fairly certain that if the Yoga instructor I want to take a class from doesn’t have a good schedule online then I can probably CALL HIM AND GET A DECENT ENOUGH RESULT.

Then again, nothing shocks me anymore. More people can name the 7 dwarfs then the US Supreme Court. More people can name Kim Kardashian’s ex-husband then can guess the unemployment rate with any accuracy. There are careless people, unfocused people, people with no perspective all around you.

Which makes this the perfect time to do what you want to do and change the world. The level of competition has never been lower. How do I know? Because whatever idea you are working on is bound to be better then the guys who spent a year figuring out how to make it easier to schedule an afternoon with a beekeeper…

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