This post was originally published on January 25, 2012 on Forbes.com.
In the fast-paced and thinking-so-far-outside-the-box-you-forget-there-is-a-box world of technology, the answer to the question "is it possible?" is always "of course." No matter how big the idea uncovered in an informal brainstorm session, rarely do you ever hear, "that can't be done." And usually, if the idea is exciting enough, the first step towards digital success is taken immediately: we buy the domain.
And, as a result, I now own 21 domains.
After listening to me share some of these new big ideas that I'd heard thrown around recently, a mentor of mine summed up his thoughts pretty succinctly:
"People don't care what you tried to do. People care what you did and did better than anyone else."
Coming from a gentleman who has done quite a lot of things better than anyone else, the truth of his statement rang true. And the challenge of his statement has continued to resonate with me in each recent brainstorm session and, perhaps to an even more disturbing level, while watching the recent Republican debates and last night's the State of the Union.
The line between a harebrained business plan and a harebrained idea for fixing what is wrong with our country have started to look alarmingly similar. The approach taken in both situations appears to be starting with the window dressing and the tactics as opposed to laying out the big picture and the vision needed. Buying a domain on a whim for the latest greatest idea ensures its ultimate success about as much as eating a corn dog at the Iowa State Fair ensures a change in "politics as usual."
There's nothing wrong with kicking around big ideas and giving amazing speeches. There's nothing wrong with catchy domains ending in .ly, .co, or .me. There's nothing wrong with making statements about what you'd tell congress to do on your first day in office. But, when it's all said and done, Elvis said it best, "A little less conversation, a little more action please."