a hairbrush / Karolis Strautniekas / dribbble.com

It’s not your idea.

Jun 10, 2013 · 3 min read

Hoarding ideas deprives the collective community of good. We need to let go of the concept that attributes an idea to it’s owner.

An idea is worthless without implementation.

When Edison had an idea to improve the filament for incandescent light bulbs it mattered not. It wasn’t until after he had tested more than 1600 materials that he stumbled upon carbonized bamboo.

Edison chose to create. He chose to pursue an idea through implementation and we are all better for it.

Don’t Covet Your Ideas

If you give away everything[your ideas] you have, you are left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish.Somehow the more you give away the more comes back to you.Ideas are open knowledge.

Don’t claim ownership.

Share like your idea’s life depends on it.

As a creative professional we are constantly invited to hear about someone’s great idea that they want to develop and become the next Instagram. My approach to these types has been to encourge them to begin the process by sketching out some simple things on paper. Write up as short plan and major goals for launch. When they have done any of these, I will gladly help them move forward. Over the past 5 years I have seen exactly zero people follow through.

This isn’t to illustrate how few people follow through, but lighten the burden of reluctance in sharing your ideas. Many of the people in your circles are there to help you succeed. I would feel confident that no one is waiting around for you to share your gem so they can run off and create it before you.

Outside Perspective

Quick feedback from those around you can help you in many ways.

  • Refine your elevator pitch. You can’t have a firm grasp on your idea if you can’t explain it concisely.
  • Features and faults. We all bring perspective if nothing else. A new perspective can show you invaluable issues you would not have seen otherwise.
  • Interest. If after sharing your idea people are confused or unimpressed, great! There is no need to waste more time, go find a new idea.

Set an expiration date.

In the best environment, we would all have the passion to pursue our ideas and as a result we would see the fruits of this labor.

In reality, we get distracted, lose interest, or move to something else. The idea may still find merit with someone more passionate about it.

If after 90 days you have made no progress with an idea, give it to the open community of creators. It is better for greatness to exist and be created by others, than to have it wither and die alone.

It matters not what the idea was, what matters is whether the idea was given the opportunity grow not die.

Give your claim an expiration, 90 and out, 30 and free…

Thanks to Josh


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    Director of Product Design & Creative Consultant

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