There's more where that came from

Before anyone had even heard of Mark Zuckerberg, a young Harvard-bound high school student and his friend spent a few weeks hacking together a music application that would pick music for you based on other things you liked to listen to. The software was called Synapse, and the young hacker and entrepreneur would be offered around a million dollars for it.

For better or worse, the name we all know today for this kind of service is Pandora, the competing music-genome-project inspired “customized radio” company that took an IPO and has a market cap of $1.6 billion. The concept is clear and compelling. We notice what you like and don’t like, and give you more of what you like.

In short: it’s a good idea.

It’s very tempting to sit on good ideas. Humans live in a world of scarce resources, where having some food (or gold) means someone else not having food (or gold): only one person can have a thing at any given point in time. This is the foundation of economics and politics and a whole host of other things, but it establishes a set of habits that are basically bad when dealing with ideas.

You must have faith that there’s more where it came from.

Executing on ideas is where the learning comes from. It’s also what makes them successes (and in a way, rewrites history to make them good ideas). And if that wasn’t enough reason to act now, remember that ideas have an expiration date, because other people will think of them.

Remarkable people have a talent for doing things over and over again. The top achievers in sports don’t play one game and then quit. The greatness comes from sustained performance under high pressure. The Beatles wrote more than one hit song. So did U2 and Bob Dylan. J.K. Rowling wrote more than one good book.

Beware the voice in your head that urges you to “save it for later.” It’s far better to write that blog post or try that new product idea now, and trust that there’s more where that came from. Like all things in life, the more practice you get the better you’ll be.

And don’t feel too bad for the young entrepreneur who created Synapse. His name is Mark Zuckerberg.