Shayne Spencer on the “dumb idea project” and how failing econ helped him start his firm

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While Shayne has built a successful marketing consulting firm, there was no “plan” to do this.  His first exposure to marketing was out of necessity – his professor let students boost their low economics grades by joining the marketing group he ran.  Shayne quickly applied the lessons to his DJ gigs on the side in college and became more interested in how to build real relationships with people through incredible experiences.  He brings this same passion to his work today.

Shayne has had many “dumb” ideas, but he would argue that most ideas (good and bad) start out as dumb ideas.  The difference is the people with the courage to keep moving and respond to feedback. He has called the entrepreneurship journey “one of the most humbling things he has done in his life.”  From this humility and willingness to stay vulnerable, Shayne has been able to build a successful digital marketing firm.  So what’s his secret?  He shares four key steps to turn your own “dumb idea” into something that might work:

  1. Write down the ideas, make it real
  2. Share your dumb idea as widely as possible (don’t worry if people steal it)
  3. Get as much feedback as possible (even the negative!)
  4. Continue to tweak and re-work the dumb idea (don’t get too tied to the original idea)

Shayne wants more people to follow their silly ideas and see what they can make of it.  In 2010, he decided to start his own business during a recession and with no money to his name.  Eight years later, he has no regrets and couldn’t imagine taking a different path. It may not have made sense at the time – but its the decisions that don’t make sense that often turn into something meaningful.  If it made sense, people would already be doing it!

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