Fred Wilson has a great post on how he came to fund SoundCloud, an online network for sound junkies. He was repeatedly approached by the SoundCloud team for funding, but it ended up being a single slide that finally sold him.
His post reminded me of what it was like being at art school and working on a new piece. Getting started was real easy, I just sort of had at it, little doodles in my sketch book until an idea would emerge. “Ok, portraits!”. It was not until my piece was done that I would get to sit and finally understand what I had been working so hard on. In the case of my portrait project I had been working on the idea of “permanence in time and place”. What it meant to “be somewhere”. The process I went through is very similar to working on a new idea for a business, something I am sure the SoundCloud team was going through.
It can take a long time, even years, to know what it is you have actually been working on. Not the problem you are solving, but the vision you are driving. This seems counter intuitive because it begs the question, has all your work been aimless?
It is a discovery process leading to a more solidified version of the spark that got you rolling. Ideas look very different in your head than when others begin to interact with it. It is rare to know what you’re working on from the very beginning. But it is certainly your job to to figure it out with deliberate persistence.