What’s your Calling Card?

by mikekarnj on March 18, 2010

Do you have a billion dollar startup idea? Is it going to be the next Facebook, Paypal, or Google? If you’re an entrepreneur looking to raise capital, it’s almost impossible to raise money for a “small” idea that you might find amazing, game-changing, and innovative.

And you know what? It’s not the end of the world if your idea isn’t going to be the next Groupon.

A couple of nights ago, I had dinner with Nick and Thompson who told me about movie directors and their “calling cards” (if you don’t have friends outside of the tech/startup industry, you should start widening your circle because the more people you know outside of your industry, the higher your chance of being innovative and gauging good ideas).

A lot movie directors have “calling cards” which are small budget, creative, and game-changing films that garner interest from major studies to land the big film. The film they really want to do. The big kahuna.  But, in order to land the big film, they need to prove themselves with a film that provides them some exposure, credibility, and experience. You’ve seen this with Quentin Tarantino and Reservoir Dogs, Kevin Smith and Clerks, & Darren Aronofsky and Pi. All of these initial films led them to where they are today.

A lot of entrepreneurs default to thinking about launching the next billion dollar idea (mine is starting an online bank).  The only problem is that most new entrepreneurs don’t have a “calling card” that can help them get their big startup idea off the ground. The next time you have coffee with a successful entrepreneur, ask them about their “calling card”, or better yet, ask them about their past failed ideas. Every entrepreneur has at least one.

Time is your biggest expense, so start your project/idea sooner than later, but don’t worry about launching the next big thing. Put something out there because you’ll learn a lot whether it succeeds or fails.

In the meantime, keep a big startup idea spreadsheet or diary. Who knows? If your “calling card” takes off, you might have to close your eyes and pick one of your big ideas sooner than you think.

Thanks to Nick and Thompson for inspiring this article.

comments powered by Disqus