Monday, December 17, 2018

The Power of the Obvious

There are many characteristics that define an entrepreneur. Creativity. Passion. Vision. Determination. But here’s one you may not have thought of—the ability to see the obvious. 

According to Andrew Forman in his article, “Don't Give Up on a Great Idea Just Because It Seems Obvious,” which was recently published on the Harvard Business Review’s website, some of our greatest inventions come from simply acting upon the obvious. In his article, Mr. Forman discusses how he spent eight years failing to act on his great idea. It was an idea he was confident would work, but that he failed to pursue because it was, to him, simply too obvious. He was sure someone else 
would beat him to the punch. As it turns out, no one did.

What was his idea? It was Givz, an easy and fast way to donate to any registered charity in America from a single place online. Mr. Forman co-founded Givz in 2016 while finishing his MBA program at Harvard and after realizing the challenges of raising money from millennials. According to its website, Givz allows a person to donate to any charity in America in less than 15 seconds, through one single portal, on any device, and to have all gift receipts organized in one place. 

The article cites research from the own University of Minnesota asserting that “the recognition of obviousness is an important part of one of the ‘five stages of the creative process.’” Pursuing the obvious can be difficult for entrepreneurs—some of the most creative types among us—because it can feel like cheating. In a quote from Steve Jobs, “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after awhile.” 

So, the next time that great idea resurfaces in your conscience, don’t let the obviousness of it hold you back. It just may be the key to your next big success.

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