This article is a snapshot for my future self. I could write it a thousand times and each time would be different. Hopefully I will look back at it in a while and see how I have grown. Hopefully you can get something out of my train of thought.
“Everyone has an idea. But it’s really about executing the idea and attracting other people to help you work on the idea.”
~ Jack Dorsey | Twitter
How ideas arise
The best ideas arise when you don’t expect them. You cannot force them, but you can put your brain in a state that makes cooking up ideas easier.
This state is called “mind-wandering”. You reach this state particularly well while doing brainless activities. Examples are: public transportation, staring outside or taking a walk. The last idea I got while mind-wandering was one I call the networking idea. In this article I will take this idea as an example.
The idea basically boils down to “expanding my network with regional self employed creative talent”. Being a self employed programmer, a valuable network is essential. I decided to step it up a notch by involving my network in every project, always.
For me, it was one of those things that just makes sense. Work with people you like, do stuff you love and the results will be awesome! Practical example: I always work with at least a designer on a project. I never do projects alone. If the project asks for it I can hook up a copy writer, photographer, marketeer and additional back-end developer.
Is the idea worth it?
After coming up with the idea, it’s important to determine if it’s worth executing on. For an idea like the network idea, it is quite easy. You increase the quality — and thus the value — of your product considerably by having parts you are less good at done by specialists. This allows you to assure your client of quality, better service and a well thought-out result.
If you have an product idea you could do the following. Try to turn the idea into a prototype within seven days. If you reach a valid prototype within seven days, it will probably be worth perfecting and then using it. Are you unable to realize your idea within seven days? Do not panic. Keep a list of ideas that have been dropped that way. When you think you have enough resources to accomplish your idea, come back to that list and try again.
Work out your idea
Working out your idea is not the same as executing it. Think of working out your idea as making a plan of action for a project. To link this back to the network idea, it is actually as simple as creating a profile for the partners in my network.
Why are my partners doing what they do?
What do I expect from them?
How should we collaborate?
When I’ve clearly outlined my partner’s profile to myself, it’s just a matter of execution and finding those beautiful people.
Why is working out your idea so important?
You put all the steps necessary to realize your idea on paper as concretely as possible. That way you can quickly see whether it is realistic. I try to visualize all these steps while reading them. This way I want to prevent things from being overlooked. I then only have to carry out the implementation and do not have to worry about the plan.
Implementing the idea
Finally — when you are over the moon about your idea — you just have to implement it. Due to the thorough preparation, this should go fairly smoothly and you will have to wait until the idea starts to bear fruit.
Are you full of ideas and sometimes you don’t know what to do with them?Always write them down. That is step one.
Hopefully you got some inspiration from my train of thought. If so, let me know by commenting or send me a Tweet!
How do you deal with your ideas? Please let me know!