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  #1  
Old 10-01-2010, 10:46 PM
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Default Friends with Pie-in-the-Sky Web Business Ideas

So you get an email from a good friend, someone you would never brush off, about this idea he has for a website. The idea is very intricate, obviously he's thought about it a lot, right down to what domain name to use and a tagline, except he's neglected to consider tiny details like how it would be monetized and how it would get traffic. You mention these issues to him and he says he's not in a hurry to make money, and well, Google and those guys get traffic so it can't be hard. You point out that if it won't make money in a month there's no reason to believe it will make money in a year, or ten years, and traffic is not quite so easy to get. He changes the subject to the great ideas he has for building a hosting platform for the site from the ground up...

How do you save this friend from himself?

How many of us have had this friend? (I'm sure we've all had a bunch of acquaintances like this.)

I think the basic fallacy here is that he's done well in school, and he's done well in a job, so naturally he'll do well running his own business (and the hard to avoid implication that if I did it, it can't be that hard). There's no way of snapping someone out of that fallacy if their ego is tied up in it, so how do you save him from himself anyway?

Last edited by joelwalsh; 10-01-2010 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:31 PM
 
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I have a few friends with ideas like that. They all want to build the next Yelp.com, or have ideas that closely model other high traffic internet websites. Most of them don't even have anywhere near the amount of money, time, and knowledge that it would take to start such a website, but nonetheless insist on:

1. talking about it with me
2. Pursuing their idea to some degree

In all fairness I used to do that as well, especially before I found a REAL way to consistently make money online. I had a lot of "ideas" that I look back upon as being ridiculous...... Having big dreams is one thing, but pie-in-the-sky ideas are another.....

I had a friend propose an idea to me a few weeks ago, and asked me what I thought. Even with my "limited" knowledge the internet, I was able to quickly realize that it was near impossible for him to accomplish such a grandiose vision. Not only was it a bigger project than he could handle/afford, there were also TONS of established competitors. When peoples egos are on the line it is damn near impossible to change their mind...... In this particular instance I didn't tell him it couldn't be done, because I don't believe in passing negative energy. I merely pointed out some of the "obstacles" he would encounter, and suggested other (more realistic) ways he could use his ideas to make money online. He brushed all of them aside and ended up feeling like I was trying to crush his dreams haha.

In the end I don't listen to people anymore. I have too much stuff going on, and I realize that taking action is what gets results, not how impressive your ideas are.
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:05 AM
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My own personal opinion here...

I believe that to be successful, you need vision and execution.

Seems like there's tons of vision out there, but good execution is rare.

When friends approach me with their latest dream, I mention that sounds like a great vision.

Then I ask... How do you plan to execute it?

Often they have some sketchy ideas of what to do (or they'll say that's why I need your help to do it ) and end with saying that the rest will take care of itself.

I then say something about "why don't you see what it will take to tighten it up so that all the details are taken care of and then make an informed decision if it's worth pursuing."

Sometimes the friend goes through this extra work and actually comes up with something good. Sometimes not -- and hopefully they now realize it.

-Aaron
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by particles View Post
Sometimes the friend goes through this extra work and actually comes up with something good.
-Aaron
Really?? They actually went from grandiose idea to making money?
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by joelwalsh View Post
How do you save this friend from himself?
I know I'm probably going to get flamed for this.... but... you don't...

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Old 10-03-2010, 11:18 PM
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Really?? They actually went from grandiose idea to making money?
Yes, but it took 4 years longer and $3 million more than what he had expected.

-Aaron
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by particles View Post
Yes, but it took 4 years longer and $3 million more than what he had expected.

-Aaron
Wow, that sounds big.
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:28 PM
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Yes... it was supposed to only take 6 months
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:28 PM
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I remember a couple of years ago when a friend told me that he signed up with the "Internet Treasure Chest" and so impressed with the easy process of making money by just launching websites like the one in the infomercial!

I think the media is one of the biggest culprit to get started. But now with the social media explosion, it gotten even worse by the so-called "gurus" making outrageous hypes!
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:42 PM
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My friend isn't falling for gurus. He knows everything already and isn't about to listen to someone else or follow their plan, let alone pay money to follow someone's plan.
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