Jonathan Fields got me thinking in this post:
Regarding ideas, he writes:
If it’s that good, people will try to knock it off the moment you gain any level of traction, notoriety or both. Maybe sooner. In fact, if they don’t, it just may speak to the fact that what you’ve got is either not nearly as cool as you think it is or you’re not able to communicate it’s coolness…
I know that people will steal ideas. I steal ideas. I work with great people at places like Lenderama and BHB and those folks throw off great ideas all the time. For free. For real, and they keep on doing it, all the time. One of my synapses will fire a half formed idea, and then Tood or Greg or Pat will throw off some nugget that I didn’t know before. And I’ll be enriched with thoughts and thought, and I’ll be able to do my job more effectively. These ideas are given away for free. All the time.
And they are precious. Look–if we apply the lessons that are here already for the taking, we’re going to get so far ahead of the curve, so enriched, so smart, that we’ll never finish. The value of Twitter is mostly that we see other brains having firing synapes together. Ideas are everwhere, and they’re precious. An idea to use a spammy plugin like FeedWordPress to create a non spammy blog network came out of a conversation. Anyone can use it. There you go. It just requires putting it into use.
And there’s the rub, isn’t it? We all know essentially, in broad strokes, what to do to to make life happen. We know that we need to pick up the phone and call people, we know we need to connect, think, help, add value. And yet, we find ourselves not executing because the next big idea is right around the corner. Well, the next big thing…is simply executing what we do well already. It’s taking the bull by the horns and getting things DONE and not started. Execution is more profitable than shere creativity.
There is nothing staggeringly new about what’s happening now. The best of what we do is about elegance, not novelty. Facebook could have been twitter, could have kept twitter from happening. They didn’t go that route. Twitter could have been blogging. Livejournal could have been WordPress. Etc. Etc. All of those ideas were half thefts, and just SCAMPER type solutions. What was different is execution. There isn’t really an ‘information advantage’ out there right now that has a lot of meaning, except in the realm of execution, finishing projects, getitng things all the way done.
Even though they are abundant–ideas are precious. Having what it takes to finish, to do, to be, to have whatever we seek…starts with being created in the mind. Instead of fighting over who owns the knife, we should help one another grow a bigger pie. Or mix a better metaphor. All it takes is a realization that scarcity and value are different things. In an abundant world, we can continue to freely throw off knowledge. Hoarding knowledge is going to become a thing of the past.
How can we encourage others to think?
How can we encourage ourselves to think?
How can we continue to make sure ideas grow?