I recently visited an office in downtown Manhattan called an incubator. That means the space is being used by entrepreneurs to develop new products or services. The office is being financially supported by big money people who pay all the expenses while the concept is in the research and development stage. When the product or service comes to market, the money people take their fair share of the profits.
I always love visiting offices like this because I feel like I am in the center of the universe where everything begins. I also love creative minds and watching the excitement of something being created from just an idea. I admire the money people who have the wherewithal to make this happen. Why do they entertain certain ideas for their incubators and not others? What happens if they all of a sudden fall out of love with something they were supporting?
I was more curious than usual about why a particular investor whom I know would support one product over another because many of the concepts I saw in the early stages were rather ridiculous. I didn’t tell the investor because he is a friend and I didn’t feel it was my place to dampen his enthusiasm. I won’t even name him in this post, though he could very well end up reading it.
Maybe I am just getting older and less tolerant. Perhaps I have been around the block too many times. I would hate to think I can no longer judge the good from the bad. The truth is that no one really knows what is going to work. Anyone who invests in ideas will tell you that many of their bets have not paid off. But that is not the game they are playing. All they need is one or two biggies and it’s pay dirt time.
Here are some ideas that have received a lot of editorial attention but have yet to prove themselves: