How many times have you seen an idea, maybe a fad and said, “Why didn’t I think of that?” I’ve seen tons of them. MY first memory of one would be the pet rock. Some guy made millions of dollars putting rocks in boxes and selling them as pets. Then there was something I had some tertiary involvement in, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I did art for one of their multitude of licensees, here’s a sample. . I had drawn so many creatures by that time and I was kicking myself as Eastman and Laird raked in millions and who could have predicted that coloring books for grown ups would be among the hottest trends of 2015? How did these people come up with these huge ideas and, maybe a better question, how can you?
Well there are a couple of things to consider.
The first is look at what is already being done and alter it. Someone somewhere saw a few stressed out adults grabbing their kids crayons and experiencing relaxation and thought all we really have to do is rework the subject matter. The pet rock guy probably heard someone wondering if their child was responsible enough to care for an animate object and decided to let them try something inanimate first and the TMNT guys were trying to create a parody of Daredevil comics.
Be original. While there is nothing new under the sun, there are a multitude of ways to frame an idea. Take your idea to a new and different level. Do something that’s not been done and don’t worry too much about the critics. Everyone of the above ideas was probably seen as stupid by a lot of critics before it caught on.
Name it something catchy. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: It’s weird, its wacky, and it made everyone curious. The rest is history. Pet Rock, made us stay what the heck is that?
Above all, though, make something you love and get it out there. Let people know about it. There’s never been an easier time to get your creation out to the world. I don’t think we start by trying to create something that will be the next big thing. Instead create something that resonates with you and find the tribe of people who love it too. The key is to share with the people who will spread the word.
The next big thing will be created by someone. It won’t be you if you don’t make something.
In a related question, what if we got creative and found a way to communicate the Gospel and make it the next big thing. I know some will find that objectionable, but I mean how do we take the most important thing there is to the widest audience possible. It’s worth considering.