Evaluating Your Ideas

Evaluating Your Ideas

Some people do the bulk of their creativity through the generation of ideas. The language of ideas is what they know and how they create.   Ideas constantly, they are not always good at execution but ideas come to their mind all the time. Some have called this idea-diarrhea, Stu McLaren referred to this recently at the platform conference and I realize that I’ve “suffered” from this condition.  Coming up with idea after idea before I’ve had a chance to significantly execute on any one of them.

Ideas may come easy, but to take the next step of execution we must learn to put our ideas through an evaluation process to screen out the bad ones, or at least the ones to not spend time on.

Every idea-person can learn to evaluate their ideas with the following three evaluating questions.

  1. Is the idea some thing that I can execute on? if the idea is not something I can make happen then I must learn to drop it or sell it, ideas are sold in the form of patents or trademarks, if you can’t do that then drop the idea or sit on it until you can execute. Write it down and wait on a day when perhaps you can execute.
  2. Is the idea based on your knowledge or on your ignorance? Many ideas occur because of the large body of knowledge that we have, knowledge often stimulates ideas.  But many other ideas are based on ignorance. We often have ideas due to things that we don’t fully understand. Ignorance-based ideas can be powerful, missing knowledge that would normally kill and idea prematurely in the mind of a person more knowledgeable, can stay alive and develop to the point of a great idea. I’ve seen this in action more than once, people who normally are not knowledgeable around a topic can innovate better than the expert.  In this situation others who understand more have already processed and often dismissed an idea long ago.
  3. Does the idea need further development? the answer to this question is almost always yes, sharing ideas is usually what gives them legs. Most ideas at the start are vague concepts that the person has little understanding around. Discussion of ideas and research either kills them or strengthens them.  It helps to have multiple people help with this process of idea evaluation.  After the initial idea phase, partnership with an execution person is often just the thing that your idea needs.

Use of these 3 idea-evaluating questions can help your idea and get it into the execution phase.

How many ideas and projects do you have sitting around waiting to be completed?

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