Incubators

Incubators warm you up until it’s time to hatch.

They are similar to coworking spaces, but incubators often focus on entrepreneurial education. This developmental focus attracts newer entrepreneurs and has incubators most often found in educational environments, with semester or year-long programs. Incubators can also be found outside educational environments. Public incubators may have less rigidity, but there’s still urgency that most entrepreneurs benefit from. The timelines of an incubator are not as compressed as accelerators, but there is usually a beginning and an end to these programs.

This rotational nature of incubators provide a cyclical, yet stabilizing effect within startup communities. Entrepreneurs working through incubator programs become stronger founders eager to stay connected. As founders transition out of an incubator, they add human, intellectual, network, and cultural capital to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Their departure also makes room for the next class of entrepreneurs eager to develop a business within the incubator.

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Wondering how your business should evolve? Work around other entrepreneurs.

Another common draw of an incubator, is less expensive office space. Low rent alone attracts early tenants, but here lies the motive for many unhealthy incubators. If an incubator is only about cheap office space, the lack of heart will suck the cool right out. A fixation on cheap rent leads to less interest in helping entrepreneurs. This leaves floundering tenants starving for community. As cultural starvation occurs, entrepreneurs migrate and programs fail.

Incubators must be safe cocoons for less experienced entrepreneurs. They should allow entrepreneurs to repeatedly test, fail, and improve alongside their peers. With a supportive space dedicated to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit, incubators allow connected entrepreneurs to hatch fresh ideas ready to fly.

Ideaworks

As color pops in the night sky, let’s brew on how sparking innovative business ideas might be similar to how we experience a breathtaking fireworks show.

Alright, so you’ve got the chaos of life all around you, but this moment’s focus is first directed toward finding a place to park. This frenzy has me reflecting on how our daily lives gobble up so much mental bandwidth. If you’re interested in building a new business, interesting ideas may strike within the madness all around you, but innovation takes intention. Such intention can lead to momentary movement, but it’s unlikely that lighting strikes just because we decide to brainstorm in single servings. Instead, making creative day dreaming a habit will invite serendipity in the mind. As ideas emerge and connect over time, different combinations will help map out more valuable opportunities.

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You get what you repeat. I’ve enjoyed hearing readers share how the ideation exercise featured in YDNTB provided the practice they needed to become an idea machine.

Alright, so you’ve found a spot to enjoy the fireworks? The anticipation has the crowd excited and then… a bright light flashes, right before the unmistakable sound of the first explosion arrives. The show is underway!

Shifting this spectacle back into our metaphor for innovative ideation, I think about the fuse that starts it all. There must be a way to catch fire, eh. Perhaps a willingness to slow down while maintaining urgency, actively listening, being open-minded, allowing new experiences to shift your perspective, leaning into community, and always staying curious gives the idea machine more ways to continuously flip the switch?

As each fuse is lit, we hear that thump of a firework being shot into the sky. This sound of propulsion is like ideas darting into the limitless atmosphere of our mind.

With each idea sparked, there’s a thrilling hope that what’s about to pop is exactly what we’ve always wanted. Even if it’s not the show-stopper we wanted, each “ideawork” releases different colors, shapes, and sounds that inspire the sky and connect into the broader experience. Each blast is also seen in different ways based on the vantage point. This awakens the fact that every idea has value. Bad ideas lead to better ideas. This can spark great ideas that reverberate and when given the space to merge, different ideas combine into what can be evolved into a fantastic reality.

As individual ideas pop to create a tune over time, it’s like the grand finale everyone waits for. The audience may scurry in different directions after the show, but they’ll keep talking about the impact long after the floating smoke clears. When we consistently invite different ideas to form a melody, it nourishes a system geared to be remarkable when the fuel of habitual action is applied. Keep sparkling my friends.

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Don’t wait for next year.

Celebrate

Celebrate small wins, mini moments, and game-changing achievements. This reminds everyone how fun it is to be successful. Celebrating also recharges the intoxication that comes with building things that matter. This makes people more eager to tackle new challenges, so do it often. With a connected collection of diversified milestones to keep everyone united, accountable, and motivated, here are a few easy things to celebrate.

– New Hires
– Work Anniversaries
– Product Releases
– Fresh Features
– Customer Testimonials
– Record-Breaking Activities
– Community Gatherings
– Media Spotlights
– Industry Awards
– Event Highlights
– Holidays
– Failures

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Working to establish a few cool milestones and creative ways to celebrate them? Here’s an NFT to unlock some time together!

Most companies love to celebrate together, but too much of a good thing can lead to unnecessary drama. In contrast, when there aren’t enough good times, the team forgets how to have fun as a team. To stay equitable, listen and learn how different people respond to business breakthroughs. As you consider what and ways to celebrate, invite everyone into the activity planning process. Milestones may not change, but the way you celebrate them sure can. Connecting achievements with inclusive celebrations will motivate everyone, while also infusing a freshness into the mix.

As we celebrate in style, the entire team is supported by a performance-based culture where everyone feels included and has fun building as one.

Maverick

“I don’t like that look…”
“It’s the only one I got.”

Entrepreneurs enjoy the ride on our highways to the danger zone. There’s a comfort in uncomfortable and the edge is where’s it at. Skills and tactics can be learned, but steady action, confidence, humility, and long-term persistence are just a few things required to embrace entrepreneurship as what it needs to be: a lifestyle.

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Everyone has a creative spirit. When an appetite for (calculated) risk is applied, the entrepreneurial spirit is unlocked. This can be nurtured by community and work that feels like play. This grows the entrepreneurial spirit until it becomes a way of life.

When building becomes a part of who you are, the result is not authenticity, it’s consistency. As open-mindedness and generosity lathers into long-term consistency, trust bubbles. Trusted community members who then invest toward understanding those they serve, will almost always find some form of success. This might be the side hustle they love talking about, the innovative role they build as a linchpin inside an existing organization, or that first hire that grows into a whole new business.

As Top Gun: Maverick reminds us, it takes commitment to feel your way through this mission. Don’t think. Make entrepreneurship a lifestyle to keep learning, building, and having fun on your way past hypersonic.

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Talk to me, Goose.” —Maverick

Minerva

The cosmic pursuit to find Pluto is a neat example of how imagination, obsession, and reason align what can be seen. After scientists at the Lowell Observatory finally discovered “Planet X” in 1930, the world weighed in on what to name it. Let’s brew on naming your project.

As discovery releases new realities, a great name established an identity. A name makes a project feel real and allows you to talk about your ideas with others. It also creates an identity to build your marketing around. If you’ve been thinking about your project for a while, a good name may emerge. If you’re struggling, here are three ways to land on something scalable.

1. Be descriptive. If it’s impossible to guess what you’re offering at first glance, you’re taking an early gamble. Hyper specific names may stand out in the moment, but too much definiteness can limit your ability to evolve. Attention is hard to earn, so avoid obscurity, names that may trap you, or anything that makes your business hard to remember.

2. Verify your name is available. It’s tough to set yourself apart while still being easy to remember. As you consider naming a business, get creative, but do your homework before you fall in love. Research existing trademarks, domain names, social media accounts, industry competitors, and funky spellings.

3. Think long-term. To withstand the test of time, consider how this name can support long-term growth. If the trend you’ve based a name around fades, might it make you look outdated? Will highlighting a specific location eliminate the ability to expand? In short, don’t corner yourself unless it’s on purpose.

Once you lock in a name, start using it within customer discovery to explore how it’s received by those you seek to serve. When a name clicks, align your marketing and overall vocabulary around the newly established identity. This will make your company recognizable and over time, connects you to more true fans.

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Pluto was the second choice of scientists who discovered this beloved dwarf planet. Minerva was the team’s favorite, but it was already taken by an existing asteroid.