Innovation Always Starts in the Kitchen

When I talk to innovative entrepreneurs, one theme always emerges – it all starts at the (literal and metaphorical) kitchen table.

Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, tells the story of Nordstroms calling his dying cordless phone while he sat in his kitchen eating breakfast tacos.

John and Bert Jacobs sold their Life is good shirts out of the van they were living in for several months. Let’s assume they had a hot plate.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak stored the first Apple computers in a garage.

All the good stuff starts small.

And it is not glamorous.

Whether you are selling services using your cell phone and cheap ear buds to connect with clients (raises hand) or stacking your product in the living room while you wait for orders to come in, you are in very good company.

Innovation usually spawns from just an idea. There is no infrastructure for a new thing. There’s no already established authority or space to tap into.

When we start something new, we often don’t have the resources to start with all the bells and whistles. Hell, we often have no idea what the bells and whistles are yet.

I encourage you to use your kitchen, garage, living room ( try to avoid living in the van if you can) and start something.

View it as an adventure and trial run, a beta test. When you don’t have to invest a lot of capital up front to get the wheels moving, it gives you the flexibility to grow organically and follow the paths that open ahead of you.

When you grow, you can formalize things, move to a bigger space, hire a few folks.

But use the kitchen table. The cookies and coffee are closer there anyway.

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