I’ve met a number of people excited about the idea of entrepreneurship, but without any particular vision, product, or service that they’re passionate about. There’s nothing wrong with being in that place. It probably means you need to immerse yourself in more experiences, accumulate more knowledge, and build your network up. A clear vision is likely to emerge while you’re busy working on someone else’s.
What doesn’t seem to work is trying to launch something, anything, just for the sake of doing it. If you try, you’ll probably find it hard to gain customers or investors, so it won’t last. Even if you can convince a few investors to back your vague vision, it’s probably best to wait until it solidifies. It might be tempting to try the nonprofit route, but be careful.
It’s a bit easier to keep a vague mission alive as a nonprofit, because you can sometimes get a few decent donations to start something even without a lot of clarity. Donors give to broad ideals, while investors want to see a clear revenue model. There’s nothing wrong with nonprofits, and it’s the best model for many organizations. But it’s useful to try to imagine any possible way to make your idea profit generating first, as a kind of test to uncover who the customers are, what the product is, whether it’s in demand, etc. I’ve seen entrepreneurs with no clear vision try starting a very broadly defined nonprofit more than once. A website, a name, an amorphous cluster of general activities, but no clearly identifiable product, target market, strategy, or execution plan.
One school of thought says so what. Start something, and let it become whatever works. I suppose this is possible with a ridiculously ambitious person, but I’ve never seen it work. What tends to happen is that you burn up a lot of social capital. If you’re the person who launches the thing that no one can figure out, the firm with no clear product, it starts to eat away at your credibility.
While it’s silly to assume you can know everything before you act, and trial and error are vital to shaping a successful venture, it’s also not very useful to pursue activity for its own sake. It’s bad for your brand and can form bad habits. Push yourself to find a clear value proposition. If it’s not there, keep the ideas embedded in your subconscious until it becomes clearer. Keep busy creating things and working on other people’s visions you believe in. The eureka moment may strike at any time.