Have a Great Idea? Cut It In Half

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things. — Steve Jobs

We always have more enthusiasm for our ideas than we have time and resources. This is always going to cause you to worry about more than you should be worrying about. The tendency to overreach is coded into human nature. History is littered with empires whose ambition was the cause of their demise.

You can turn a bunch of great ideas into a crappy product real fast by trying to do them all at once. You simply can’t do everything you want to do and do it well.

Cut your ambition in half. You’re better off with a kick-ass half than a half-assed whole. If you still think that your ideas are great, then you can always implement them later.

Lots of things get better as they get shorter. Directors cut good scenes to make a great movie. Musicians drop good tracks to make a great album. Writers eliminate good pages to make a great book.

So start chopping. Getting to great starts by cutting out stuff that’s merely good.