This man has one love.

Bubba Blue knows things:

Anyway, like I was sayin' ...

Shrimp is the fruit of the sea ...

You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it ... there's shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo ... pan fried, deep fried, stir fried ... there's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp ... shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad ... shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich ...

... that's, that's about it.

In truth, that's not it. And Bubba will realize this when he visits The Cheesecake Factory, with their 23 other ways (and counting) to repackage and serve Caridea. Not because they love trapping crustaceans in new form factors, but because they understand that the demand for shrimp in the raw is only a tiny slice of the global market.

If you're stuck, remember that software is even more malleable than shrimp. Have you thought of all the different ways you could potentially package, wrap, and deliver your core product? Have you imagined what it would look like if you carried your product to the doorstep of and placed into the hands of your customer? If you added a commodity spice? If you placed it on ice? If you deveined it? (Yikes — you did do that already, right?)

Lie awake and replace sheep with product and service variations. If you're so in love with your first idea that your product is too difficult to rotate, too frozen in your imagination to vary, try shrimp with a running start from Bubba.

Or tomatoes. I was able to think of half a dozen variations of tomatoes while making my coffee this morning. What disturbed me the most was my inability to even think of a tomato product that isn't a $B industry:

  • Whole tomatoes? Yeah, sure!
  • Sliced tomatoes? Haha! Wait ... these go on a billion burgers!
  • Diced tomatoes? Psh, no, wait, oh my this is salsa!
  • Pulverized tomatoes? Hehe, yuck. Wait this is sauce ...

Okay wise guy!! What if we just said screw it and left them on the vine? Hahahahah. I win!

Idiot. Those are the most expensive tomatoes Whole Foods sells.

I could be offended, but my reflective self didn't even get into the most painful aspects of this as a founder: realizing that the pricing of these variations has little relation to the amount of work that went into re-shaping that raw ingredient into its more desirable shape.

'You didn't even pick them off the vine, what do you mean I should pay you more?! Do you understand the amount of chopping Pace Picante has to do for one jar of chunky homestyle verde?!'

But the market doesn't care how hard you worked.

You can let this bring you down, or you can judo flip your attitude: "if the market doesn't care how hard I worked, then it also doesn't care how hard I work, present tense. It only cares if I give it what it wants."

This is great news: you could be danger close. And the hard part isn't the product development; it's discovering what's right next to you, in a direction you've never seen before.

Are you attached to your first idea?