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The Shoulders of Giants

March 30, 2011

“All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.”
–Martin H. Fischer (physician and author, 1879 – 1962)

One advantage the internet provides you over professionals of the past is the ability to rapidly research the others’ experiences when it comes to new marketing and business ideas. It only takes a quick Google search of your newest “one of a kind” idea to find that someone, somewhere has not only had the same idea, but tried it out.

While there’s a certain amount of pride to be had in coming up with an idea or approach no one has tried, it’s far more productive to seek inspiration from those who have tried ideas and learn from their experience. If you ever have an idea for your business and you don’t Google around for related ideas, you’re making a mistake. Even a half hour of research might save you weeks of trial-and-error experimentation.

In researching an idea, don’t confine yourself to “official” articles published on mainstream websites. Dig through blogs and read the comments. What you’re almost always looking for is the first-hand, on-the-ground experience of someone who has tried a similar (or even opposite!) approach. Keep notes, including links to the pages where you found the discussion, in case you need to refer to them later, or ask questions.

There is no guarantee that exploring the great laboratory of the internet will give you an answer, but it might save you time, give you winning insight, or reveal that what you thought was a brilliant idea turned out to be a disaster for others. With a little applied research, you can stand on the shoulders of business giants.


Source: Scott Levitt 03/2011

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