“Ideas are a dime a dozen. People who implement them are priceless.”
Mary Kay Ash
“Chance favors the connected mind.”
Ok. This is about ideas. Let me be clear. There is absolutely no excuse for not having ideas in business these days. None. Zero. Now. Do I believe ideas are a dime a dozen? Yeah. I do. To be clear, I think great ideas are priceless. The world tends to reside in the wretched hollow between the dime a dozen & great.
In the way-back good old days you had to brainstorm and by magazines with niche readership in the 100’s not millions or pay some think tank gobs of money to hear what they were seeing around the world in order to sift thru trends & global ideas. Then things like trendwatching & springwise popped up, places who curated random ideas so you could sift thru the coolest ideas. Today there are those (plus more) and blogs and articles and, well, you can simply tap into some of the greatest thinkers & strategists via LinkedIn, twitter & Instragram.
Uncovering Ideas (not discovering).
To be clear. To come up with good ideas you didn’t need all of this new stuff (reading, traveling, research, curiosity is the natural fodder for ideas) but these grander resources gave us all a layer of actual ideas as fodder for “what could be.” Today the world and what is thinking is at our fingertips. I will also note, today, if a company used its own internal social media all of their employee thinking is at their fingertips <different innovation article>.
I have worked with startup incubators, large organizations, innovations groups, brand consulting firms, smaller organizations, in almost any industry imaginable and I can promise anyone asking … you don’t really have to work that hard for ideas. Most times the best ideas lie within easy reach if you only look close enough.
I don’t think I’m the sharpest knife in the drawer and I have dozen of ideas scribbled everywhere. Some business, some on education, some debunking existing ideas, just lots of ideas. I bet I have even forgotten more than I’ve written down. I give away ideas all the time mostly because I know ideas are a dime a dozen and maybe someone can make a buck off of my dime <because I have not>. I also share them because I will think of far more ideas than I will ever be able to do.
It’s possible I think about this differently than other people. I call my idea creation “practice”. Practice? Well. Mainly because I never curb my ideation I have lots of practice for when someone actually needs an idea. I may be biased but I think more people should think this way.
Now. To think this way you also have to understand that most so-called ideas are horrible. Just as ideas come in tall, grande & venti sizes they also come in horrible, useless & extremely useful categories. Sometimes I refer to them as shallow, dimensionally intriguing & the best — deep. Deep <capturing culture, need versus want & behaviorally insightful – linking people with purpose> is a mandatory for a great idea. Even then you can still end up with a dysfunctionally useful idea.
Suffice it to say not many people are deep let alone can GO deep in the thinking, therefore, the Dunning–Kruger effect almost guarantees most of the people excited about their ideas are the people least capable to evaluate those ideas.
Great ideas are not always obvious. Why? Well. Most of the greatest ideas are so good they look obvious. Amazon is a great idea but all it really is <and was founded upon> is an online curator of things & an efficient marketplace (store) for those things. Many of the greatest ideas simply took what exists and just made it better for us. That doesn’t seem great … but it is.
All that to say there is absolutely no excuse for not having ideas for your business. None. Zero. Zilch. And if you don’t think you have any ideas worth a shit, before you panic, just explore other people’s ideas … and ideas as they spring up anywhere globally at any time. Before the internet we often had to wait for some of the big research companies to issue these reports on what they believed were the best of the best ideas. Today? You can track ideas daily. Globally. And assess the best of the best as they happen.
I firmly believe you can never have enough ideas. So let me end where I began .. “chance favors the connected mind.” Ideas always arise from a connected mind but the chance of a great idea increases exponentially with a connected mind. If you connect your mind to all the other ideas out there and to other things that inspire your thinking, well, your ideas may be favored.