As I sit here tonight tweaking and working the data model for 247Toolset, I wonder... what is it that drives a person to think that they can do something truly unique? Isn't that the true test for the entrepreneur - to offer a unique value proposition to the market?
Earlier this evening, I was working through the feedback that I've received from Paragon and from LocalsGive and from two other prospects. 247Toolset offers a pretty unique way of searching for information. But today, it only offers one kind of search. As I wrote it out, I realized that I've been asked to provide no less than seven types of search. Double that, if you count hierarchical searches. I've never seen a tool that offers this many layers of search. Unique? Maybe. But even if it's not, can I arrive at a business model that penetrates the market more deeply than others might? Maybe.
What I'm doing would have a ton of benefit to my day job. The trouble is that my day job would have never blessed my foray into this depth of research and experimentation. So it becomes my own playground at night. And I can't offer it to my day job, lest they think it's actually theirs now after around 1,000 hours of my personal time invested into this. Pity. That's the trouble with all big companies though. They're too trapped in a vision of what they currently do to see a reason to go exploring. "That's not what we do." But you know, big companies need scouts - explorers who fearlessly run around looking for cool shit and how it could apply to what the big companies do. But that'll never happen in most companies. And it won't happen in SMEs. Which is how disruptive innovation happens. Enter the ignorant swordsman...
The best swordsman in the world doesn't need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn't do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn't prepared for him; he does the thing he ought not to do; and often it catches the expert out and ends him on the spot.If I'm successful in my implementation of these layers of search (tall order) and in the promotion of my business model (taller order), I'll do well enough to leave my day job.
- Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Chapter XXXIV
So the rest of my night looks like testing data scenarios against the data model and scribbling out how the interface, across multiple layers of search, might keep its current facility.
Some people bowl. Some people watch TV. Some people train for marathons. My hobby is exploration. It's probably what I do best. Thankfully I have a wife who deeply believes in me and thoroughly supports my chase. (I love you, baby...)