The Big Idea: Hotmail, Worth $400 million,
Founder: Sabeer Bhatia

A big idea can change everything’. Let me share with you a story I recently read about India’s most celebrated name in the field of the Internet. In 1988, Sabeer, at age of 19, arrived in America with a mere $250 and went on to become a millionaire by 1998.
Sabeer and his colleague, Jack Smith, while working for Apple computers, were keen to start their own company. They had been bouncing off ideas by email on the office network but were afraid their bosses would out.

That’s when they felt the need for free, confidential email accounts that can be accessed anonymously over the web. That was it! In trying to deal with their own problem of communication they had stumbled across the big idea. This gives birth to Hotmail, which changed the way millions of people communication around the world and made Sabeer a Millionaire when he sold his company to Bill Gates.

Well, one can call it ‘luck’, but the fact is that it was not the luck, it was an ‘idea’ that Sabeer worked hard to convert into reality and thus got lucky. Likewise, Ramanathan’s idea was to form Janaagraha --- an initiative to increase citizen participation in local government, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s big idea was Golden Quadrilateral -- to develop national highways, someone thought of Twenty 20 cricket, someone conceptualized the Akshaya Patra -- the mid-day meal scheme for children, someone thought of blog, Napster, I Pod and each of those ideas made it big.

We come upon ideas all the time -- in the morning, afternoon, evening and night. The idea comes simply go away. It happens to everyone. Things about it, you perhaps just go an idea and it is already dead. You create history when you act on Big Idea.
Let me share with you a simple action plan that would help you to add life to your ideas.


Invest in a little book in which you can make notes. Call this your ‘Book of Ideas’. This book must always be accessible to you. You never know when you get an idea, it could be when you are in a meeting, maybe when you are watching TV or perhaps when you are on the bed. The moment you come up with a good idea, you must make a habit of writing it down in your little book. This will ensure that your ideas are registered.

Look into your ‘Book of Idea’. Do not be very surprised if you have too many weird or absurd ideas. Try to look for an idea that really gets you excited. It makes you feel elated -- you realize it sounds great and then shares it with a person you can trust. Get some initial reactions and if you are satisfied with the feedback, then slowly start building on your idea and give it some shape.


As you start devoting time and effort on your idea, there are chances that sometimes you may rationalize too much and convince yourself that the idea is not practical or perhaps, you do not have the bandwidth to execute it or you might
Just lost interest in it all together. There could be another possibility where you feet that you need to temporarily shelve to the project or you may also get feedback that discourages you.

The only way to overcome all these problems is to let your heart decide if you hear the voice from that says ‘go for it’, then stop all the negative thoughts and move on.


The next stage will be to fine-tune your Big Idea and things about its practicality, cost, funding, logistics and list out all other related resources that are needed to make your idea work. When you are ready with the feasibility report, get cracking!

Remember, people may not accept your idea initially. If you are too young, then you are in danger of people not talk you seriously; then you are in danger of people then not talk your ideas; if you don’t have the money then you may get a raw deal due to desperation. You have to be very professional in the manner in which you handle this phase.

Let us get back to Sabeer for instance. He almost had 20 rejections before someone was ready to listen to him. Many of them said that he was too young, had very little experience, no but that did not discourage. He wants to impress someone and get $300,000 investment. With 15 people in the company and a passion to make his idea work, he made it possible.

That bottom line is that you should have faith in your idea and back it up with passion, hard work, determination, tact and shrewdness. Ricardo Bailey once said ‘Never belittle your standards to achieve your goals...always fight your way through, the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory’. Start working on your big idea because the world is waiting.

Author's Bio: 

Rahul Kapoor, India's leading motivational speaker, mentor, inspirational author incorporates valuable content for business and personal growth with practical and implementable tools. Rahul is known as a 'live wire' in delivering highly memorable, inspirational programs to individuals, teams and organizations.

His customized content, which is a combination of Psychology, Science and Spirituality, is delivered to hundreds of prominent organizations, including many Fortune 1000 companies. Over the last 17 years, his programs have inspired over 250,000 people across 11 countries like India, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, USA and the Middle East resulting in increased sales revenue, superior customer service and operational excellence. His largest single audience to date is 70,000 participants.