Many of you will now think I've finally lost the plot. Probably a fair assessment.
For those of you, like me, with a 1 - 6 year old - you'll know exactly what I'm talking about before I even start talking about it.
The lesson I have learnt, from reading the same damn books a thousand times over and over again, listening to the same set of stories again via sky plus over and over again, is one overarching rule of thumb that I think we would all do very well to remember in our pursuit of technological and entrepreneurial greatness.
"Be a Really Useful Engine"
It really is about ensuring that the thing you are creating is ultimately REALLY useful for someone. Just one person. Hopefully a lot more people, and if it's really useful for one person chances are it's going to be such for a number of others too. Then, the only question is how many?
Thomas and friends frequently find themselves spewing off onto a tangent, normally driven by the pursuit of fun, a short term, short lived thrill-seeking journey that normally ends with some form of disapproval from the one Sir Toppum Hat. It normally is followed by the wrong-doing engine putting right, by remembering that whilst it's fun to:
- Play tricks
- Speed along the tracks
- Annoy farm animals
It's even more important to be a Really Useful Engine.
So next time you think it's a great idea to build another geo-location checkin app, a facebook for chefs, an airBnB for dogs... ask yourself. Is it REALLY USEFUL?