Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles And that's the trick, is you don't need to build an app, you don't need to start a business, you don't need to raise money, you just need to figure out a way to quickly take your idea and collide it with some reality. The reason what's so interesting is probably the single most fundamental problem is what I call the failure to start. You have this idea and you love this idea, it's an amazing idea and the more you think about it, the more amazing it seems. And of course, nestled safe and warm in your head, of course it's a good idea because there's no reality there. And there you're allowed to envision getting a hundred million downloads and imagine when everyone's using it how powerful it's going to be. But of course, when you actually try and make it real, all of a sudden, wham, you bump into reality and all those assumptions, well, they're wrong. How do people do that? Like if somebody has an idea right now, what would you advise them to do? How do they get out there and start battle testing this? Let me give you two specific examples. And I'll give you the quick one, which is the Netflix example. Reed Hastings and I, my co-founder, were brainstorming ideas for businesses and we were not movie buffs, we had crazy ideas. We had ideas to do personalized dog food and custom shampoo and personal sporting goods, all kinds of crazy stuff, and one of the ideas was this idea to do video rental by mail. And at the time, video was on VHS cassettes, this is back in 1996/97, so that idea was a non-starter. And one day in the car, Reid mentioned he'd heard about this technology called the DVD. It's thin, light and the idea popped into our heads that maybe we could make our video rental by mail business work with a DVD, we could just mail it. So here's where you separate the entrepreneur from the dreamer. Rather than going, “what a great idea”, and rushing to the office and working on the pitch deck or going home and writing the business plan or applying to be on Shark Tank or something, we said let's immediately try and collide this idea with some reality. And in our case, we just turn the car around and drove back down to town where we lived to buy a DVD, but of course there weren't any, it was in test market. So we said, “well, close enough”, we bought a music CD and we just mailed it to Reed's house. And we found out in 24 hours whether the fundamental premise of our idea would work. We collided it with reality within an hour of having the idea. But let me give you one more example, if we have a moment here. And just because people are going, “oh, that works if you have a DVD, but it works for anything”. So I was working with a young woman and she had an interesting idea and her idea was to do peer-to-peer clothing rental. She's saying, “I had this closet full of clothes, I don't wear them that often, I'd kind of like to borrow my friend's clothes, I wonder if there was an app that lists everyone's clothes and we could borrow each other's clothes”. And then she was talking to me about the thing that aspiring entrepreneurs do, how do I raise money? How do I find a technical co-founder? How do I build an app, blah, blah, blah, dreaming. And I said, “whoa, whoa, stop”. “Do you have a piece of paper?” And she goes, “Yes”. I go, “how about a sharpie?” She goes, “that too”. “And some tape?” I said, “write on a piece of paper”. “Want to borrow my clothes? – knock” And tape it to your dorm room door. And you're going to find out today whether your idea has any merit, because if nobody knocks, well, you've learned something right there, but let's say they do knock and they let them in, you're going to find out about taste and about fit. Now, let's say they do find something they like and that fits, then you're going to find out a few days later how you feel about your favorite blouse coming back stained, you're going to find out about the cost of dry cleaning, you're going to find out so much and you're going to do it with a sharpie and paper and tape. And you're going to do this for as long as it takes by hand to learn the fundamental premise, which is, is there a, “there”, there? And once you've done that, then it's easy to attract someone to help you with the technical aspects, it's easy to raise money, because then when someone says, “what's your idea?” You're not saying, “imagine if you will”, you're saying, “look what I've discovered, look what I found out, look what I know”. And you can demonstrate your idea is a good one. And that's the trick, is you don't need to build an app, you don't need to start a business, you don't need to raise money, you just need to figure out a way to quickly take your idea and collide it with some reality. And so what I'm trying to do is give people a whack on the head and go, stop thinking and start doing. The real brilliance by entrepreneurs today is not how good their ideas are, it's how clever they can be about figuring out ways to test those ideas, to try them to, as I say, collide them with reality, that is what separates an entrepreneur from a dreamer.