So you’ve now got a few workable ideas, what’s next? Well one possibility is to begin to share the idea. Do this very cautiously and only with people you trust. I’m not talking so much about having someone steal your idea here. That can happen but it usually doesn’t, so be cautious but not paranoid. No, what I’m talking about here is people killing your idea. At this early stage in the process, the idea is somewhat fragile. It’s not yet ready to stand up to harsh criticism or even some hard questions. Too many questions and criticisms in the early life of an idea, will take you to a negative place and may even make you give up, hence killing the idea.
What you need instead are people you can trust to be honest with you, but who can also help you to refine without killing. These are the people who can be both objective and visionary. They can imagine with you and dream with you while at the same time steering you away from something that is truly a bad idea (when you’re done brainstorming, bad ideas become real again). It should be a person that knows the area your idea will “live” in and who is willing to help you through the process or at least help you find the next steps.
You have to know who the right people are for each phase of an idea. I have some people who I will share an idea with right out of the box. They are visionary and are pretty good at dreaming past the flaws. Other people are better once you have most of the flaws figured out. By then your idea is pretty tough and can stand up to a little critique. The more concrete thinkers can help you smooth out the edges and get the thing ready to release to the world, or occasionally show you why it simply won’t work.
You have to let some ideas go
Don’t be afraid to stand up for your idea, after all if you don’t, no one will, but also don’t be blind to it’s weaknesses. Ideas can be like our children and sometimes we love them so much that we are the last ones to see their flaws. Here’s the thing your idea is not a child, it’s a thing but like a child it can cost you a lot of time and money. Children are always worth the investment, but the same cannot be said about every idea. Sometimes we have to let one idea go to develop something truly outstanding. Sometimes a harsh critic will save you a lot of time and resources in the long run. Remember time is the great equalizer, we all have the same 24 hours from the richest to the poorest person and ultimately how we invest those 24 hours may well be the difference between success and failure. Don’t be so in love with your idea that you waste your time on something that will never work.