"What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? No... It's an idea. Resilient... highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain, it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed — fully understood — that sticks; right in there somewhere." - Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio — Inception)
For those who haven't watched Inception (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1375666/), here's a package of spoilers. In the movie, Cobb's character, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, has the mission to enter a CEO's dream using a technique/machine/software/dream-sharing product and plant an idea deep within his consciousness.
The film is full of twists, thought-provoking concepts, and an intriguing ending. Watch it!
The opening quote of this post is from the character. The most resilient thing is an idea. It's highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain, it's almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed — fully understood — that sticks; right in there somewhere.
And what does this movie have to do with this post about creating products? Simply everything! The founder has an immensely important mission to make their idea infect the world, starting with their team.
Convincing the team leads to gathering a legion of missionaries (never mercenaries) who join them on a journey of faith. Faith in the idea. In the possibility of changing the world with their product.
Later, this same founder has the task of infecting the customer. They need to enter the customer's dream and understand their needs so deeply that this idea they're creating, which we can now call a thesis/prototype/MVP, infects the customer with the desire to buy the product. And this customer, looking at this creation, feels proud of it. They think, without expressing it, "How did I not have this idea before?" It's the moment when the idea finds its product-market fit.
The team of missionaries at this point has the task of building this idea. And making it seem so simple (https://www.regismelo.com/the-laws-of-simplicity/) and so impressive that it appears like magic ("Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," Arthur C. Clarke, https://amzn.to/41YRzZb).
Eventually, in the beginning (and the farther from the very beginning, the better), the founder has to "plant" this idea in the mind of an investor who, convinced of its potential, enables the financial execution of the business.
And when the day comes that the product is truly ready – I didn't tell you this, but it's never completely ready – it becomes the role of the entire company to sell this idea to the market, which needs to not only see value but see themselves in the product.
Easy? Not at all! But certainly, it's an incredibly interesting path to take. You can see when the founder has been infected by this virus/bacteria/idea/product. It produces endorphins that change their voice during the pitch. A light that shines in their eyes as they recount the journey. That turns them into a tireless storyteller, regardless of whether the other side wanted to listen or not.
The photo that opens this post was taken by the author at Trairi Beach, in the interior of Ceará, Brazil. It doesn't explain why I hadn't been posting on this blog for a few weeks, but it certainly justifies it. I was doing what all of us should do from time to time. Look.
And since we started the post with a movie, let's end with a scene from another wonderful one - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jxbLj_Px_M
Happy to be writing again! Good night!