I'm standing in a room. I see a set of upholstered chairs arranged around a nice, wide coffee table. Against one wall is a large screen and an Apple TV box. Smart young folks fill the seats, iPads in hand, talking through a problem. One of them is projecting their work on to the big screen. I'm smiling. This is a good day.
None of it is there, of course. The chairs or the people or the screen. I'm standing in an empty room with walls and windows. But I can see what it can be, superimposed like an hallucination. There are just two problems:
1. I am absolutely terrible at the most of the steps that stand between the dream and reality
2. I need to get this dream into someone else's head, or it'll just stay a dream
And that's the startup, in a nutshell. You see the idea, but you can't build it by yourself, and you can't hand it to someone like passing a ball. This can be frustrating. "It's right there!" you think. "Can't you see it?" But they can't. Because they're normal, well-adjusted people that don't live in your brain. So you have to talk, and write, and gesticulate, and scramble to find the words. After awhile people start to question your sanity a little.
Eventually, if you don't give up, the thing takes shape. The chairs come in, and then the people. And if it works the way you thought it would, pretty soon everyone thinks it's perfectly normal. Nobody remembers the dream anymore - not even you. It's just the way the world is now.