The year of the silly idea?

Yo.

It’s a simple word that can mean anything from a greeting, a sign of amazement, or a declaration of pissed-off-ness. It’s also the word that launched the notion that stupid little ideas can become real tangible goods.

Yo is an app. Before it was an app it was a silly idea for simple communication. It was an itch that needed to be scratched by a product designer in Israel. Go ahead, read Yo’s story here.

It’s a fascinating story, but more-so it seems like the herald of a foreseeable future littered with oodles of silly ideas that shouldn’t see the light of day — but will.

Why?

We live in a time where computing cycles are so cheap that we can afford to waste them on building a silly idea.

We live in an age where information is so accessible that people can teach themselves to code just by Googlin’ around.

We live in an age where labor arbitration is so easily executed that we can post a contract job for cheap money and get a working prototype of a silly idea in a matter of hours/days/weeks.

Yeah, it’s never been easier to get something made. But should we?

There are books and articles out there that implore people to fail fast. To go lean and build an MVP quickly, iterate, and refactor to a point where they may even pivot.

There are books on using search engine marketing and landing pages to test ideas without spending a ton of cash to build a real product. Got a lot of traffic? Got a lot of people signing up to learn more when you launch? Your idea must be good, go out and build it.

This is going to be the year of silly ideas. I can feel it, because I’m a part of it.

One day I was walking my dog past a cemetery and was thinking, “all of those headstones mark a person but their story will never get told — they need iBeacons on them that push people to a Timehop for dead people app”

It’s a dumb idea. A dumb idea that I built a landing page for in an afternoon. A dumb idea that did nothing more than tighten up my HTML/CSS/Javascript skills. Go ahead, checkout solarmemory.com.

Now chuckle, that’s beyond a silly idea — it’s a dumb idea.

There’s a case to pursue your silly ideas. Heck, you can practice a skill set or work through a new technology that you’ve been itching to use.

There’s a case against pursuing silly ideas. Heck, you could be wasting your time on something that someone won’t ever see. Your idea may be so silly and dumb that it will never validate.

I’m an advocate for pursuing silly ideas. What I’m against, after some firsthand experience, is pursuing clearly dumb ideas that should never ever ever see the light of day.

Whether right or wrong, it’s comforting that there is so much opportunity that we feel that we can pursue a silly idea on our off hours.


Justin Brodeur is the CEO of Pidalia. A digital agency that builds all sorts of seriously cool stuff, some of it just happens to be silly.