usable in any place a human can be used


stupid ideas

[caption id="attachment_671" align="alignleft" width="263" caption="No caption needed"]stupid burn[/caption]

I want to be honest with you for a minute, I have lots of stupid ideas. I have them all day, in the shower, while eating a sandwich, while writing my blog posts, stupid ideas come streaming into my head. I used to just ignore them, "No one needs a peanut powered lawnmower" I would tell myself. The interesting turn was when I started writing these stupid ideas down.

Some stupid ideas will always remain stupid ideas, some though will change over time. That dumb idea might actually just be so brilliant it looks stupid. It might be so big and scary that you've convinced yourself it's stupid. It might not be a bad idea at all, after some careful reflection. It might even be a wonderful idea.

Why do we throw away our stupid ideas? Is it because we don't have time for them, bah, that can't be it, you are currently wasting precious time reading the stupid things I have to say. Is it because we are so swamped with brilliant ideas that we have to prioritize, probably not, or else you'd be sipping margaritas next to your perpetual motion machine. No, the answer is much simpler, its because we are afraid or failing. Stupid ideas are failure babies, a dumb idea grows up to be a hairy ugly failure, and we have learned in the school of life that failures are bad, so we avoid them.

Have you ever talked to a 4 year old? I have on various occasions, interesting little buggers those 4 year olds. They will tell you every little thought that bounces into their overly energetic little brains, no matter how wrong or foolish. They don't mind failing over and over again, they will insist the moon is made of mashed potatoes and not feel bad at all when you tell them the truth. And most importantly they learn a ton of information.

Now don't take this the wrong way, I don't think you should just go around like some half-cocked lunatic spouting off every little thing that pops into your head. There was a time for that and if you go into the board room now insisting the moon is made of mashed potatoes you will be roundly mocked and rightfully so. What I am advocating is the preservation and analysis of your stupid ideas. Let's take a look at some stupid ideas quickly to see why this is useful.

  • Idea #1: A blanket that has arm holes and you wear it backwards or something... yea like a backwards robe! Pretty fucking stupid, but better known as the Snuggie, which has become a huge success and sold tons.

  • Idea #2: Instead of executing the code on this machine, let's build another machine that doesn't actually exist and have that fake machine live on the real machine and have code execute on the fake machine.... What? What are you rambling about Jenkins, get out of my office! Jenkins just invented the Virtual Machine architecture that power things like Java's JVM and .Net's CLR.

  • Idea #3: Wouldn't it be awesome if you could tape together 4 iPhones and have like a really big iPhone. I'm sorry, did you just smoke a bunch of peyote?! That's dumb.... Or its the new iPad.

You get the picture I'm trying to paint here. A lot of the amazing things we take for granted and depend upon everyday, things that seem like great ideas now, all had a moment in time when they were some far-fetched pie-in-the-sky dream. Most ideas start off as stupid ideas. Stupid ideas are important and valuable, not all of them, but there will be some diamonds in those dirt clods. You just have to be smart enough to sift through them.

My advice to you is to jot down those stupid ideas you normally throw by the wayside. Revisit them every once and a while, re-evaluate their "stupidness." Sometimes you will find a diamond in the rough, sometimes a stupid idea can be the spark needed to have a brilliant idea, and sometimes you will just get a good laugh out of the stupid things you think up.


  1. Also when you get into the practice of recording your ideas you become better at it. Your habit 'levels up' and feeds back into your idea generation.

  2. hey you are right!!!