usable in any place a human can be used



[caption id="attachment_800" align="alignright" width="234" caption="In the future, we will rule this world!"]chimpanzee in classic thinker pose[/caption]

Ideas are interesting things, we have them all the time, we dismiss them frequently, and we value them heartily. Some people don't like to talk about their ideas, don't want people to steal their million dollar brain baby, and I can respect that, but a million dollar idea with zero execution is worth nothing.

Ideas, like misery, love company, if I tell you an idea your brain will immediately start thinking about it, having its own ideas and interpretations. Then you tell me your ideas that my ideas caused and I get more ideas and so on and so forth, this is the basis of a conversation. That our ideas can grow and change organically, that we can piggy back off of each other, this is the basis of our society. But let's get out of the woods of the abstract and into the city of concrete.

What I want to talk about today are those entrepreneurial ideas that we all have from time to time. Those things that you are certain will make you rich and famous, or the ideas that leap back into our minds when we see some new thing, a worldwide pornography distribution network, Tim Berners-Lee stole my idea! What should you do with these ideas, how should you handle them, and why and what and huh.

Every person will have their own way of handling the little lightning bolts that leap into their head but I want to take you through the path that I've found helpful for me.

  1. Write it down - I write down almost every business thought I have, no matter how far fetched, and no matter how overloaded with tasks I am. This seems a little silly, if you are actively working at one thing it can even feel disloyal to start thinking about something else, what am I a squirrel easily distracted by a shiny piece of tinfoil? No, in my opinion you can never have enough ideas in reserve. It doesn't take too much time to jot down enough information to be able to recall it later, and it doesn't mean you aren't serious about your current set of priorities. We would all like to think that everything we are working on will always work out, but you will never be sad that you have more ideas to fall back on.

  2. Percolate - Go do something else, even if you aren't actively thinking about something, after writing it down it will be floating around in your brain someplace. Great ideas refuse to fall to the wayside, if you find yourself coming back to something in your head more than a few times, move onto step 3.

  3. Talk it out - Share your idea with other people, sanity check it, see if they laugh at you. Don't get discouraged too easily though, great ideas can sound crazy and still be great ideas. After discussing it with a few people you can get a handle on how realistic it is and how excited you should be about your new idea.

  4. Prototype or Shelf - If you've made it to step 4 you have to look around and prioritize, it's easy to be swept up in the novelty of a new idea, but strive to objectively adjudicate whether or not you have the free time to move forward. If you do, grab some technology you are comfortable with and make a prototype, don't invest too much time or money. If not shelf the idea, keep a short list of things ready made to work on and add this idea to it.

  5. Focus Group Lite - If you made a prototype put it in front of some people, or float a pilot program. See how people react, sometimes an idea can sound great until you see it, then you realize some fundamental flaw. If this stage is good then move onto step 6.

  6. Jump in with both feet - Get cracking. If you have the time, passion, and indication that people could use your idea, go for it. It will be difficult and you will probably fail, but you will be better for it.

Ideas are nothing without execution, but they are still valuable. Make sure you save your ideas, bounce them off of other people, and if your gut and other people tell you to go for it, take the chance. You may not always succeed, but you will rarely be disappointed that you tried.

No comments:

Post a Comment