Tag Archives: Medi-code

Guess What Percent of Ideas are Really Opportunities

This monday I posted ideas vs. opportunities in this space. The point was filtering all those ideas for the subset that are actually opportunities. 

Overnight I got an email from Rick Holdren, chief evangelist for Medi-code, with this delightful additional story:

As a angel investor in over 25 startups I tell a different story: A few years ago Starbucks put suggestion boxes in all the Starbucks locations. They got 50,000 ideas. They implemented three of them. 

I don’t know Rick, and I can’t validate his story. Anybody else know? Do you work at Starbucks and know the background story? Please comment. 

And I’m not asking Rick, much less challenging him, because I’ve always said (and written, including on this blog) that stories have value whether they are literally true, or not. For example: Can stories be true when they’re false? Besides, I’m grateful for the story, why not use it for its illustrative value, instead of challenging it? 

And this story, true or not, makes its point. Divide three executed ideas by the 50,000 and you get 1/150,000, which is 0.00000667. That’s .0007 percent. Seven hundredths of a hundredth of a percent. Sort of like a needle in a haystack. I hope you ideas to opportunities ratio is better than that, but you be the judge. 

Tell me I’m wrong. Comments are open.