big ideas, small (sharp) ideas and no ideas
This is about ideas. And the fact some company is suggesting a ‘no idea iterative process.’ <yikes>
Here is my net.
Big ideas in marketing are crap. Yup. Crap.
Thinking you have a big idea <even if it isn’t> is better than actually having no idea at all.
Confusing a bunch of tactics with a strategic idea is just plain stupid.
As a corollary to the above statement … iterative tactics without a strategy idea is insane.
If you can get paid for having no ideas … do anything to keep that job.
Fifth <and last … and most important>.
Small <with sharp edges or points> ideas are uncool but exponentially cooler than no idea and infinitely better than supposed big ideas.
I believe there are Big Ideas. I believe Einstein had one. Marconi. Maybe Edison. Surely Newton. But not all big ideas are good ideas.
“I think I am going to fly around the world.”
“I think the beta is the technology of the future.”
“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
(Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles)
Ideas are good in any shape or size <no ideas have no shape therefore … by this logic … are not good>.
I just tend to believe often big things come in very small packages when it comes to ideas. So if all you do is look for big packages you are gonna be sorely disappointed when you open it up and look at the idea.
But regardless this iterative process thing outlined in the linked article above by this company in the Arctic suggests which leads to ‘no ideas’ is really kind of nuts.
Maybe <and this is quite possible> I am missing something but like adcontrarian what I seem to see is “hey, big ideas are crap so I am going to constantly implement a boatload of little tactics until some of them start working and then write up the idea.”
I have certainly seen a great tactical idea generate a honed strategic idea but I can honestly say I have never seen anyone just throw a whole bunch of tactical shit up against the wall and see what sticks and then like a Rorschach test identify the strategic idea from the shape of the tactical shit.
But, hey, if someone is buying it up in Portland so be it.
It is kind of the way business in general seems to be evolving <to my dismay I may add>.
I believe this iterative thing they describe is being driven by two things:
“A consensus means that everyone agrees to say collectively what no one believes individually.”
Concensus & ideas … “if I have an idea I want to share ownership so it succeeds.”
That is kind of the bullshit you hear.
A good idea is a good idea.
Gaining consensus will only dull a sharp idea.
Figure out a way to implement without consensus. Not saying it’s easy but that’s kind of the gig.
To be fearless in a room full of fear is frustrating.
Fear is the biggest enemy of any idea … big, medium or small.
“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”
Henry Louis Mencken
Fear takes shape in organizations in a couple of ways:
This is a tough one.
Nowadays with employment being what it is many people are running scared.
And scared leadership is putting even more pressure on people to make fewer mistakes <rather than do more right things).
An iterative ideation process is a beautiful way to hide from making a mistake.
How can you be wrong if it is baked into an admitted iterative process?
b. Use data to make a subjective decision.
This is where research comes in.
In other words “why use common sense and our knowledge when we can implement a congruent multi phase segmentation study that identifies the double helix DNA of our desired customer.” <or some other bullshit you hear in the business world>
I believe big research studies don’t produce big ideas.
If you have patience and look hard enough typically within this big research study you can probably mine a little sharp looking diamond of an idea that can make a big difference.
But most organizations don’t use research that way.
They use research to make a decision for them. They use data out of fear.
All that said.
I guess in the end I would suggest this iterative process thing is kind of a marketing buzzword bullshit thing gone wrong.
The process described in the article or not.
I still believe a process seeking Big Ideas is crap.
Just seek the small sharp insightful ideas … and stick it to the competition.