My Thoughts On Writing 204 Lists of Ten Ideas

A little over eight months ago, I decided to start a new habit of writing down ten ideas every day. This was inspired by James Altucher, who advocates the daily practice in this blog posts, books, and podcast episodes (see this post).

I documented all of my ideas on a tumblr blog, tenideaseveryday.tumblr.com. Why? Because I didn’t feel like buying a waiters pad like Altucher suggests and I’m not a fan of writing on paper.

There was also some part of me that valued my ideas. If they are posted to a blog, the world can read my brilliant ideas and I can refer back to them when needed. I’ve rarely referred back to my ideas and as far as I know, no one has read my lists.

It is a common saying in the business world that “ideas are worthless” and “it’s all about execution”. It’s hard to argue with that after working on the internet for over six years and seeing countless ideas die in the minds of over-protective, action-less individuals. Without action ideas are worthless, but some have more potential than others.

The purpose of writing down ten ideas every day is to strengthen the “idea muscle” and become an “idea machine”. If you stop coming up with ideas, the idea muscle atrophies. In fact, James Altucher believes that even taking one day off can be a major setback. After 180 days, he says your ideas will be so good that they will change your life.

While I did not achieve 180 straight days of writing down ideas (I produced 204 lists in about 260 days), the practice itself has become much easier. My idea muscle is stronger than it was eight months ago.

Today, I’ve decided to discontinue this daily practice and replace it with free-form writing that goes deeper into individual ideas. I’ve graduated from Tumblr, watch out Medium.

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