This article is written by Aditya Shrivastava, content marketing executive at iPleaders.
It all started over tea time discussion. We were planning to watch the movie – Black Panther to celebrate our ranking as the 2nd best legal blog in the country by Feedpost. It was then, when our CEO, Ramanuj, started narrating the reason why Black Panther has become such a phenomenal success.
If you have watched Black Panther already or if you are still contemplating whether to watch it, this is a movie which explores the unexplored. Never in the history have African tribes been explored the way it has been done in this movie. In June 1992, William Snipes announced his intention to make Black Panther because he felt that the majesty of Africa in all its glory has not been properly portrayed in Hollywood. This idea developed in 1992 has now struck a chord with many and how. It has collected over $900M worldwide, as per a report by Forbes.
If you name anything that is famous or impactful, from successful advertising campaigns to technologies, they all began with an idea – I think it goes without saying. However, the difference between what is successful or not depends on whether it has been implemented the right way.
Do you know where did the idea of Facebook come from?
If you have watched The Social Network, you might know that Facebook was originally the idea of the Winklevoss Twins. They wanted to create a portal for Harvard students. For the same, they approached Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg took up the idea, implemented it, and worked on it for it to become, what it is today. Even when the Winklevoss Twins tried to open ConnectU, a similar platform, they failed at it and could not compete with Facebook.
Facebook is one such success story. Started as a photo sharing portal for Harvard students, it went on to become a popular social networking website and is now the biggest media portal ever witnessed. People are making money through creating Facebook pages – it has changed the face of advertising. Imagine. Companies have dedicated teams working on Facebook marketing. Such is the brand value and impact of what started merely as an idea.
So what is it that made Facebook successful?
What made Mark Zuckerberg different from the Winklevoss Twins?
What can you do to make your idea successful?
I certainly don’t consider myself successful to give you any insights. I believe I have a long way to go. But I will try my best to give an excerpt of what I think has led to many others being successful. Here are few pointers :
#1 An idea is never bad. Believe in it!
We all have our doubts about the things we do. However, what sets a successful idea apart from a mere idea is how much we believe in it. Feminism is a worldwide phenomenon right now. Frances McDormand’s winning ‘Inclusion Rider’ speech at the Oscars this year gained tremendous popularity within 48 hours! Here is her speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-86vgvZGMs4. It’s a must watch! Feminism has become stronger than ever in the last decade. However, when the first wave of feminism started in the 16th century, it was only subjected to ridicule, debates, and mockery.
In the 16th century when proto-feminist and philosopher Plato argued for equal political and sexual rights for women, he faced vehement opposition. However, the collective efforts of all the feminism activists and their strong belief in the idea have made feminism what it is today.
When our co-founders Ramanuj and Abhyuday left their high-end jobs at a tier 1 law firm and started iPleaders, they were criticized and demotivated by people surrounding them. We are talking about 7 years ago when people in India were still getting used to the internet, wi-fi’s were a luxury, and mobile data packages were limited to 500 MB. However, when asked how they’ve survived and flourished so far, they say it’s their belief in the idea and determination that has made iPleaders and LawSikho, India’s biggest legal online course platform.
#2 Have a vision!
My job requires me to speak and network with a lot of people – people with brilliant ideas, thoughts, and mindsets. What I figure while speaking to them is that most of them are frustrated. Some of them chucked the idea that they were once extremely excited about because of the struggle – mentally and financially. Did they lose the vision? Or, as many often call it, did life happen?
We all go to good colleges with an aim to become someone, right? I went to a law school with a vision to become a journalist. But, I lost that vision halfway into law school when the whole exercise seemed more rewarding if I followed the traditional path – a career in law. This loss of vision led me to join an MNC, which I quit after a frustrating period of 5 months. All thanks to this course in college, I could continue with legal writing (and effectively at that) because it enhanced my practical knowledge. This very course gladly landed me at iPleaders, otherwise, god knows where would I be!
Most successful individuals have a vision – an end goal. This doesn’t just apply to individuals but all the leading companies know exactly what they want to achieve. There are elaborate meetings and conferences about strategy. This vision is what sets them apart. What’s more important? Do not lose the grip on your vision and keep striving towards your goal each day!
#3 Work hard to make your idea work – DO NOT GIVE UP!
I may sound rude but extremely honest when I say – most of us have this habit of giving up. Don’t we all? When I first took up this job and started writing, I thought I was doing a terrible job. One month down the line – my work just couldn’t meet the benchmark. I was on the verge of giving up and running to the same old sluggish MNC life.
Have you been in such a situation where you were too scared to continue or your efforts were not paying off?
Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you can’t work hard enough to make it work? Trust me, I have.
In 2014, a friend and I started a scrolling website. We took off with pretty good content. Two months down the line due to my college and my friend’s job, we just couldn’t give our 100% to the website. Eventually, it shut down. The amount of regret I wake up with each day when I see terrible content online cannot be expressed in words. I always go back and think, what if we had not quit? What if we found a way? What if.
Abraham Lincoln lost 8 elections, failed in business twice and suffered a nervous breakdown before becoming the President of United States of America. Did he quit? No. You can read more about his failures here: “Abraham Lincoln Didn’t Quit”.
What does this tell us? Failure is inevitable. Hard work is what will make the difference.
I’ve read stories of Shivam Dubey, who walked an extra mile by taking up a course with us, worked extremely hard and is now working as an Associate at Cyril Amarchand and Mangaldas. In fact, Ramanuj was approached by a friend of his, who was struggling hard to get a job. He gave him the idea to write 2 well-researched articles each day. He worked hard on those articles every day, and by the end of 7 days (and 13 articles), he had a job! This prompted Ramanuj to start Dream Job Boot Camp. Today, it is helping many students get the job of their dream. Such is the power of hard work. Question is how much are you willing to make it work?
#4 Be patient, it will work out!
So far, I’ve given you various examples of Black Panther, Facebook, the Oscars and Abraham Lincoln. What do you think was common to all of them? They all took their own sweet time to be where they are. Black Panther was conceptualized in 1992, Facebook was launched in 2004, and the Feminist Movement has been there since centuries and still struggling to gain acceptance in many parts of the world.
Do you think we would have been able to witness such marvels of society, technology, entertainment, and arts had the people behind it dissed the idea in the first place or given up after facing hardships?
Ramanuj could have opened a legal news portal and earned more, or a law firm and done way better than he is doing right now. He says, “When I first started iPleaders Blog, I knew this will take time. With just one college student working on it from his hostel room and publishing 12 articles a week, it took us 7 years to reach this position. We’ve taken time but we are heading towards the right goal. This, for me, is success.”
7 years, a lot of hard work, patience, perseverance. With a vision to provide access to legal education to all, iPleaders stands tall with its head held high. It took Ramanuj and Abhyuday one idea to make it work.
Now, can you make your idea work?