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Speed dating ideas questions

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Should the relationship evolve, there will be plenty of time to get into weighty topics. When a person reveals too much too soon, it can give a false sense of intimacy. In reality, premature or exaggerated revelations are due more to boundary issues, unresolved pain, or self-centeredness than true intimacy. Maybe your first date questions will lead you to discover that this person is your soul mate—or maybe not.

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Think of conversation as a tennis match in which the players lob the ball back and forth. They ask personal or sensitive questions that put the other person on the defensive. If feeling inhibited is a problem for some people, others go to the opposite extreme: they use a date as an opportunity to purge and vent. The two pick at their dinner salads, staring down at the leafy mound before them. Finally, one of them tries to grease the wheels of conversation. Some people consider themselves skilled communicators because they can talk endlessly. But the ability to speak is only one part of the equation—and not the most important part. Either way, it’s exciting to be able to get to know another human being and get a peek into his or her world. Great communication starts with being genuinely interested in the individual you’re with and paying close attention to what he/she says. If you say: I'm going to build a web-based spreadsheet, then critics-- the most dangerous of which are in your own head-- will immediately reply that you'd be competing with Microsoft, that you couldn't give people the kind of UI they expect, that users wouldn't want to have their data on your servers, and so on. It becomes: let's try making a web-based spreadsheet and see how far we get.

And everyone knows that if you tried this you'd be able to make something useful.

You wouldn't have thought of something like that except by implementing your way toward it.

Treating a startup idea as a question changes what you're looking for. But if it's a question, it can be wrong, so long as it's wrong in a way that leads to more ideas.

October 2005(This essay is derived from a talk at the 2005 Startup School.)How do you get good ideas for startups? What people usually say is not that they can't think of ideas, but that they don't have any. It could be the reason they don't have any is that they haven't tried to generate them. I think people believe that coming up with ideas for startups is very hard-- that it must be very hard-- and so they don't try do to it. They think creating a startup is just a matter of implementing some fabulous initial idea.

That's probably the number one question people ask me. If people can't do it, then it is hard, at least for them. They assume ideas are like miracles: they either pop into your head or they don't. And since a successful startup is worth millions of dollars, a good idea is therefore a million dollar idea.

Which means, in the narrow sense of the word, that startup ideas are worthless.