Lighthouse in Saint-Malo, France. © Adrien Joly, 2016

From 95+ ideas to 1 winning product

How I found my #1 idea out of 95+ by sharing ideas and using to evaluate.

My friends and acquaintances are always intrigued by the number of ideas I’ve been able to generate and share publicly. I can’t help but imagine solutions to the many non-optimal situations I face everyday! As a developer, I know that I’m able to develop most of them. But figuring out which problem to start solving first is a problem in itself…

Why it’s great to share ideas

In the past, I used to maintain and share a list of my ideas on a public Wunderlist page. Every time I had an idea, I would just type it in that list, and anybody would be able to see it immediately on that page. When I had some time to work on a side-project, I would open it and pick one of the 95. (…and counting!)

The top of my list of ideas, on Wunderlist

Why would I share my precious ideas? There are at least three reasons for that: one that I love to brag about, one that is useful for some of my acquaintances and prospects, and one that is most practical for me.

1. Nobody will steal your idea!

I am still repeating this to many wantrepreneurs who come to me with a NDA to sign before sharing their “billion-dollar idea” with me: nobody will steal your idea. Because:

  1. One’s own ideas will always seem better than others’;
  2. The only value of an idea comes from its execution, not from the idea in itself.

As I was repeating that to many entrepreneurs, I wanted to convince them by example: so I started sharing my own ideas publicly. And I told them that they were free to make a business of any of them without asking, if they wanted!

2. Ideas = great ice-breakers

I love to meet new people, and collaborate on projects. But I’ve spent way more time than I wanted replying to people who contacted me in a very generic way, to talk about ideas that I was not very interested in…

So, over the last year, I decided to influence the kind of people who would reach me, so that I get more proposals that match with my interests. In order to do that, I made my contact information a bit less visible on my personal website, added a hyperlink to my list of ideas, and wrote that I love to get emails from people who work on ideas similar to mine.

Bingo! Most people started contacting me by mentioning common interests, thanks to my public list of ideas! For those who did not, it was easier for me to tell them that I was wanting to focus on people with common interests.

3. Sharing ideas helps getting them done

Last but not least, I found that sharing my ideas publicly helped me to get them done! It’s a great way to gather potential users (i.e. attention and interest are costly resources, these days), interesting feedback, or at least encouragements. More than once, it also motivated other people (friends and strangers) to collaborate with me, or contribute in various ways!

After all, how can anyone cheer you up, if you keep your idea to yourself?

How Pitchcard helps

Since I’ve discovered on ProductHunt, my life — or, at least, my side-project’s — has changed.

  1. It allows me to share my ideas in a more attractive page: my profile;
  2. I got to meet awesome folks worldwide, thanks to feedback;
  3. And, most importantly, Pitchcard helps me figure out on which idea to work next, based on feedback and votes!

Last week, thanks to Pitchcard, I got the interest and motivation I needed to develop one of my ideas:

I was so excited that I made a first working version of “Next step for Trello cards” in 2 hours! You can now find this browser extension on Chrome Web Store.

A Trello board, after installing “Next step for Trello cards”

All I needed was encouragement. I’m grateful to for making this possible. :-)

So I invite you to also share your ideas, and provide votes, feedback and encouragements to others, so that more people build exciting products!