I recently re-watched The Social Network.
After watching it again, and much like the first time I watched, I had two distinct thoughts: 1. Great movie. 2. I’m mad.
I just can’t shake the feeling. I’m mad and it’s in my head and simply won’t go away.
Mark Zuckerberg stole my idea. There, I said it.
No, I’m not a programmer or a whiz kid whose social media platform was stolen by this Harvard alum, but what I am is a self-proclaimed “throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks” professional. You see, there isn’t isn’t a month that goes by in which I don’t have an idea that I’m convinced might be the next big thing.
That’s my gig Mark and I want it back.
I even have evidence. A folder in my email account titled “Crazy Ideas” that is dedicated to storage of such thoughts. Thoughts like: start a personalized t-shirt business (too late), a tutoring company, become a salvage and recycling consultant, work on a collaborative website specific to fathers (hi), reboot the fly swatter, try to get a patent for top secret idea #45, and everything in between. My theory has always been that we live in a consumption based society, and if the Pet Rock can have its day, so can one of my brainstorms.
What really got to me was not only Mark’s social media creation, but his attempt at making his idea a reality, and of course, his effort. He had an idea, he went after it and he worked his butt off to make it happen. That’s what ticked me off. I’ve had ideas and went after them and also worked hard in pursuit of making these ideas come to life. So where is my success? How come none of my ideas took off like wildfire?
Ah, but there is the flaw in my argument. Some of my best already have. You might have seen this coming, and it probably was given away by the picture at the beginning of this article, but two of my inventions have legitimately stuck.
Those two would be my boys.
It didn’t take me long to reconcile the thoughts in my head about not having success in this field. As with most inventions, Facebook included, they are simply tweaks on an existing concept. Connecting with your friends over the Internet was nothing new, but Mark’s particular version turned out to be something special.
The Marmo household is my special tweak on an existing concept. Our special tweak.
It took research, discussion, debate, planning, documentation, and execution. It took flexibility, adaptability, and sensibility. We had an idea, we went after it and achieved success. Twice.
I wish all the best for Mark and hope one day he gets to experience the joys of parenthood as I hope he wishes for my success in getting one of my ideas to take off. I actually wish this for any hopeful parent. When you get old and wise like myself, you realize parenthood doesn’t come at the snap of your fingers.
Make no mistake, I’m going to continue to think about what that ravenous consumer market out there wants at any given time and will always continue to throw my ideas against the proverbial wall.
The best part is, I know that two of my favorites have already stuck.