We caught up with self-confessed shopaholic and entrepreneur Ned Corbett-Winder of Not Another Bill.com, a gift subscription service that sends out carefully curated surprise presents in the post every month, to pick his brains on turning big ideas into big business and why tarantulas are more valuable than you think…
AatI: Tell us about the ‘eureka’ moment that led to the big idea for Not Another Bill…
NCW: Before NAB I was a creative at advertising agency M&C Saatchi for five years. As creative (and shopaholic), I was always getting fun things through the post, which used to drive my copywriter Martin mad. It made me realise that these days if you don’t order it, you’ll never get anything good in the mailbox – just bills and the odd pizza menu – so I set about trying to rectify that.
AatI: What was it like going from big idea to big business?
NCW: Bigger hours > bigger headaches > bigger commitments > bigger sacrifices > bigger rewards > still nowhere near big business (yet).
AatI: Do you think big ideas are like buses – you wait forever for 1 and then 3 come along at once?
NCW: I don’t think so. I have lots of little ideas all the time, but I think about 1 in every hundred of those could actually turn into something that could become a really good business.
AatI: Do you think entrepreneurship is all about the idea, or all about business acumen?
NCW: I think to some extent you’re born with entrepreneurship. I’ve had small businesses my whole life, from selling conkers on the school playground to T-shirt businesses at university. But I didn’t go to business school – I hide away from spreadsheets and numbers scare me, so I suppose a lot comes down to a big idea.
AatI: In 3 words, how would you sum up the value of a big idea?
NCW: Like a tarantula (scary, unpredictable and powerful).
AatI: What advice do you have for others who want to make their big idea a reality?
1. Ideas tend to grow and change as you develop them, so don’t get too bogged down with the initial details, just throw yourself into it rather than worrying about how to start it.
2. Buy a web address. It makes it feel real. Also buy it the same day you’re looking at them (as the price goes up if the companies know you’re after it!).
3. Don’t take it all too seriously, laugh a lot and make sure you are having fun every day.
AatI: What’s next for Not Another Ned?
NCW: Global postal domination… No, I see Not Another Bill growing to encompass different price tiers and age groups, such as baby and luxury ranges. And in the future, I want to grow the Not Another brand to include its own products and ideas like Not Another… Pop-up (shop), clothing label, magazine etc.