Finding the balance between medicine and business
I recently had the opportunity to interview, by email, Rene Andreasi-Bassi, an intriguing entrepreneur in Holland (non-physician), who founded and now manages a website offering creative startup ideas, potential business ideas, business ideas for beginner entrepreneurs and business ideas for college students.
I posed the following questions:
1. What are the main ideas behind your business, buymyidea?
"The main reason for starting my online business was based on the fact that I want to act upon my passions in life. In my case, this is generating creative startup ideas for others. I work a full-time creative job at Discovery Channel which I still love. As my overdriven brain comes up with so many startup ideas outside the TV business, it’s practically impossible for me to execute all of them. That’s why I created BuyMyIdea.com where I put all my ideas up for grabs.
You know, 50 years from now, when I lie dying on my death bed, I don’t want to look back and think of all the great business ideas that never saw the light of day. Instead, I want others to get hold of as many of my startup ideas and realize them for me."
2. What is the source of your own creativity?
"The sources are all around me. My environment inspires me constantly. Where others walk past an empty store in the main street without noticing anything, my brain starts rattling away. I come up with new creative opportunities that benefit both the neighborhood and the entrepreneur that wants to realize the startup idea. People inspire me too, especially when they are looking for answers to a certain problem. I then generate ideas that others wouldn't come up with that quickly. The so called "out-of-the-box" ideas."
3. How can readers of my blog post develop their own creativity further?
"Start brainstorming! Make sure you use a maximum of 4 people (I think 3 is best). To my opinion there are two contexts in which you can be creative in brainstorms.
The first is brainstorming by adhering to a creative brief. This brief is pre-written and holds all the metrics you want to achieve.
The second is having a brainstorm that is boundless and a super flight of ideas. During this kind of brainstorm there are no rules and anything goes. You will notice that many crazy ideas emerge, which can eventually lead to the right one. That said, creative juices flow best when the topic at hand is right within the business you love the most."
4. What does it take to go from idea to viable business? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
"In short: (1) research, (2) funds, (3) the right people and (4) perseverance.
I sometimes describe this process as building a rope bridge over an abyss. The idea is the first tie up on one side; it is crucial for the first psrt of the bridge to hang solidly. The realization of the business that lies ahead can be compared to the building of the rest of the rope bridge -- a huge endeavor. You first have to climb down into and up out of the the abyss to get to the other side. During this walk you need the best climbers (workers) you can find. They explore the environment (your competition), and at the end they tie up the other end so everyone can cross. This comparison shows you that the initial idea is the least of your work. Setting up a viable business is where the real effort lies."
5. How do you see your business helping aspiring entrepreneurs?
"My site helps entrepreneurs who are looking for new startup ideas and inspiration to think outside their comfort zone. These ideas can inspire them to innovate within their own existing business or while creating a totally new one. Along with my startup ideas, I also write inspirational posts on how you can generate your own ideas."
6. What if any guidance do you offer your purchasers in expanding the ideas?
I offer a free thirty minute skype call in which we can go into more details. We discuss possible hurdles which I try to overcome with new smaller creative ideas.
7. How might your ideas be adapted and useful to entrepreneurial physicians?
"My ideas cover an extensive range of businesses. Retail, products, apps, websites and even movie ideas. My ideas inspire people to think differently. They give you an insight in the world as we know it and show you there are opportunities right in front of you, no matter what business you are in. The only thing you need to do is to acquire that mindset and you'll be see them yourself.
My father is a gynecologist and my stepfather is a psychiatrist. So I grew up with physicians as my main examples in life. I notice that physicians like to stay within or close to their specialized work field in which they love to communicate with fellow physicians. Patients are spoken to during private consults. In my opinion there is a lot potential in connecting these worlds more publicly.
You know, when someone feels ill (s)he immediately consults Google to find answers. There are many bogus websites that tell the wrong things which scare people unnecessary. The government here in Holland has freed up a large budget to create a major health website that is legitimate and offers online consults as the initial step in getting care."
8. If someone wanted to learn more about you and your business, how could they do so?
The best part about Rene's business is the ideas only cost $1 apiece!
Philippa Kennealy ran a private family practice, and a hospital, before building her coaching business helping MDs launch and run successful practices and businesses. Visit her online at www.entrepreneurialMD.com to learn more.