Crossing Out Ideas

1 min readJun 17, 2017


I think an extremely valuable, under-prioritized skill is the ability to cross out ideas.

We tend to reward the people who are really good with “coming up with ideas.” I do believe there is such a thing as clever or novel ideas that do stand out. But for the most part, ideas are a dime a dozen.

Google “ways to grow your business” and there are thousands of blog posts with tens of thousands of tactics.

How then do the best product people succeed?

They learn to say no to bad ideas. Furthermore, they learn to show why most ideas would not be that good.

They choose the best, lowest hanging fruit idea — 99% of the time.

It is hard to know for certain what the best ideas are — but the best ideas should always win.

What prevents truthful, good ideas from winning?

Politics — people like to be in control

Greed — people like to think their ideas are best

Radicalness — sometimes the best idea is hidden in a crazy idea

Again, executing is even more rare than a good idea. Find the two together and you will have found something special.

Originally published at