LinkLog: Natural Selection of Ideas

From The Natural Selection of Ideas

I think the key is to maintain zen-like detachment from your ideas. If you treat them less like your “babies” and instead try to come up with as wide a variety of ideas as possible, some are bound to succeed. But when an idea of yours does not succeed, you can take comfort in knowing that millions of ideas don’t succeed every day. Those are the sacrifices we make to get to the ones that do.

What do you do with hundreds or thousands of ideas you get? Here is what I do. While I am very passionate about some of them, I maintain a zen-like detachment towards most of them.

Here is a mini natural selection that happens inside our company.

  • Some ideas come and go. I try to note most of them down in my idealog
  • If I feel a bit stronger about some of the ideas, I spend about $10 and buy a domain name. About 30-50 ideas every year get this treatment.
  • I try to turn a few of them into some kind of prototypes or get some validation.  About 5-7  each year are tested this way.
  • A few turn into products. Some times these products are funded by a customer (an ideal situation). Some times, we fund them. Not all of them are sold. We use some of them internally and publish some of them.

I think this process will accelerate this year. I think the main reason is that we will get more and more products focused around 2 or 3 core ideas.