SigAs a super angel investor, venture capitalist and creative innovator, one of my keys to success is applying a business startup tool I call “looking for Signals.” Signals can resonate among all of my readers to help you realize your dreams of starting your own business.
My ability to predict business innovation before it happens has led me to achieve great success in this area (you can read the specifics on my web site, Pishevar.com), but I want to tell you that you can hone this ability too. Although mostly invisible, Signals are around us all the time and with experience you can learn to recognize these signs of innovation and change in the marketplace. Signals are clues about the future, hidden in the events of today. There is a science behind these Signals, and they contain real data that can be measured.
The first time I ever saw a Signal, I was in my early twenties. While looking at something on the Internet, I thought about how windows could be created on the page and become a place to build applications. From there, I started WebOS, (which eventually became HyperOffice) the first company to create cross-browser windows-like interfaces for the internet, establishing the concept of a Web-based operating system. What I learned from this experience is that the timing of the Signal is as important as the idea itself. You get the Signal, and the idea is there, but you must execute your idea with precision and the timing must be right as well.
I can tell you a place to look for Signals right now, and that is within the realm of Artificial Intelligence. If you study what is already being done in this arena, you may see a Signal about a business that you, yes you, will create and revolutionize life as we know it.
Think about all that happened when the Model T was produced, how those vehicles replaced horse-drawn carriages. Those cars became like packets of economic activity that moved from place to place. Everything, including the development of roads, and businesses along those roads, came about when people were able to move faster than ever before. This relates to a Signal I had when I had the honor of spending time with Elon Musk, brainstorming with him about the possibilities of hyperloop transportation.
Hyperloop, if you don’t already know, is now in development and will transport people and cargo at speeds up to 700 miles an hour. Cities will become metro stops. Like the Model T, this technology will revolutionize transportation as we know it, so start looking for Signals there. Ask yourself how this new transportation will change life as we know it. (BTW, I love to share our promotional Hyperloop One video with people, even though I appear in it with really bad hair.)
So get out there and look for Signals in the marketplace. Look in technology, especially biotech and transportation. Look in artificial intelligence and self-driving vehicles. When you get your Signal, get to work. Surround yourself with the brightest minds you can find. Be patient. Be confident.
And just a little more advice:
(1) Don’t be afraid to fail. Nine out of 10 businesses fail, and some are reborn out of the failure in ways that likely would not have been possible without first learning what did not work.
(2.) Keep your integrity and loyalty. This is important in business and in life.