Ideas and Reality

June 21st, 2010

Good ideas are hard to come by, but people *think* that they have good ideas all the time. How can this be?

An idea itself is not struck by reality yet. You need to work with it, test it on other people or whatever the target audience is. This is not new and everybody is nodding now. So, the question is, why are there so few ideas that become actual products?

Most of the time I see a good idea being spoiled by people who can not envision it in their own minds and the guy who had the idea can not explain it. Almost as often the problem is, that the guy with the idea is not capable of bringing the idea to life. He is missing time, resources or skills.

The only way I have seen to work and resolve both issues just mentioned, is to make some kind of technology demonstrator, proof-of-concept or prototype. My observation here is that the tricky part is to reduce the proof-of-concept to the absolute minimum in order to show that it will work out. My rule of thumb is: If it takes more than a day to do – you are doing something else than a prototype. This is of course in the field of software – not making a new car or something.

Another aspect of the proof-of-concept is timing. Do not create something, which is based on creativity when you are stressed out and while you are doing something else. Furthermore, do not present it to people (if that is required), when they are in a hurry. A quick response to something new is almost always negative. People just love and embrace the safe and secure harbor of a known environment with predictive outcome. Give it time work in your and peoples minds.

Last, but not least – do not stop being creative and take failures as what it is: the best way of learning!

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