A vision is a world you’re creating based on your idea.
Let’s jump straight to it. A vision and an idea are two separate concepts. Simple as that. A lot of times people think their vision is their idea when in reality, that’s really not the case. It’s easy to confuse your idea with your vision. Let me show what I mean.
Our vision is to allow brands provide customer service in the palm of their hand.
In the example above, that’s not a vision. That’s an idea. It’s allowing business to provide customer service in todays mobile-first and fast-paced world. To be honest, it could be a really good idea that I just thought of while writing this, but it’s not a vision. If I were to create vision around the idea above it would be something like this.
With our product we want to create a world where brands can interact with their customers without friction.
The biggest takeaway: it doesn’t confine you. You’re free to help brands interact with their customers, no matter if it’s from their phone, eye glasses, drones, etc. (I know, sounds crazy). In short, an idea is something you want to do. Something you want to accomplish. A vision is a world you want to create based off your idea. It’s a place you arrive at from what you created. Make sense?
It can be big or small
For some of you, a vision might be too much for what we’re building. It’s too soon or maybe you don’t know what you want “it” to be yet. That’s ok but you should at least spend some time thinking about where you’re headed to in this new world of yours. In my mind, an idea without a vision is like a baseball team without the vision of winning the World Series. They go hand in hand.
It’s important to challenge yourself or better yet, challenge the idea. By doing so, you will essentially “poke holes” in your idea and simplify the V1 of your idea.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves
While I think it’s a good exercise to take a moment to think about the vision of this idea, let’s also not get too far ahead of ourselves. At this point, it’s still an idea. We’re not really sure how the market will react to your idea or how your customers will shape it in the future. This is an important part to understand.
This is called validation of your idea.
What if you’re not a “Visionary”?
If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself — “The last thing I am is a visionary”–that’s ok. In fact, that could work to your benefit. That probably means you’re a doer. You can take a list and execute it. The world needs more people like that! A lot of times, big visionaries get caught up with the biggest of visions and get to a point where they’ve created a world so big, they don’t know where to start. Remember, the world wasn’t created over night. I know that sounds obvious but in business it’s no different.
Find a co-founder, a partner, an advisor that has that visionary thinking. Have them help you define the vision with you. Everyone has to start with nothing when building something from nothing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along this journey.
In short, an idea and a vision are two separate things. Take time to think through what kind of world you want to create. It gives you the ability to run faster and you’ll have a clear path to follow. Best of luck!