Ideas: churn ’em and burn ’em

One of, and maybe my only, self-proclaimed strong suits is creative thinking. I find the pursuit of new ideas invigorating. Hopefully we have all experienced the rush of excitement that a new idea brings. Part and parcel with this rush is the disappointment of finding out the idea is either sub-par or not as original as initially thought. Even more saddening, though, is the regret caused by not bringing these thoughts to reality.

This regret is probably most troubling to those, like myself, who fancy themselves as creative. I find myself spouting off ideas about all sorts of topics; not only entertainment and media, but business, design and fashion as well. I get all worked up about how great my newest thought is, start making plans on realizing it, and then… nothing happens. What, or who, is to blame? There may be many factors, but the biggest one is myself.

I have a theory that of every 10 ideas, only 1 will actually be decent, and only 1/10 of those decent ideas will be amazing. So, worst case scenario, it will take 100 ideas to come up with 1 super fantastic idea. I suppose that the best case scenario would be that your first idea goes gangbusters, but how often does that really happen?

I have decided that I am going to be better about following through with my ideas. Because, lets face it, having good ideas means nothing. Plenty of people have great ideas and do nothing with them, only leaving room for others to implement mediocre ideas and make millions. Case in point: Adam Sandler.

Also, the only way to know if an idea is good (whatever that means) is to actually implement it. Sure, you might recognize a stinker right away, like the time I tried to bleach my friend’s hair with a concoction of bleach, hydrogen peroxide and flower, but most ideas need to be worked out and fine tuned to know if they will be successful. There will always be people telling you that your idea is dumb. Listening to them won’t get you anywhere and isn’t fun at all.

There is nothing wrong with having a bad idea, mind you. It’s not luck that makes that 100th idea the bee’s knees. It’s the learning from those 9 decent ideas and especially the 90 bad ones that lead to success. I recently read an article in The Economist called “Fail often, fail well!” that demonstrates this point. As far as originality goes, I have learned to get over that as well. History has shown that even the most “original” creations are actually iterations on or amalgamations of existing ideas. This is explained very well by the Everything is a Remix web documentary series (this series is very well done and I highly recommend taking the time to watch all 3 parts and the hidden segments after the credits).

So I’m going to start churnin’ and burnin’ through my ideas. I am sure that you will read of a few here, and maybe we can have a good laugh. I’ve already got a backlog a mile long waiting for money, time, space and even a sewing machine. But slowly and surely I will make it through them in search of my white whale.

(You can check out my most resent idea at: Maybe it will be “the one,” though my wife seems to think otherwise. haha)


4 thoughts on “Ideas: churn ’em and burn ’em

  1. The bleach concoction seemed like such a good idea. We should have considered that whatever chemical reaction was taking place to make the mixing bowl hot would most definitely result in scalp burning. Good memories.

    • Thanks. Getting side-projects done with extra time and discretionary funds seems impossible most of the time. Sometimes I think I should use my vacation time to work on projects, but then laying a beach seems to always win out.

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