We are sitting one day, in Seattle, probably drinking coffee, probably Starbucks, and I say, “Hey, do you want to hear about this idea I have?” And you say sure! So I start telling you the overall experience this idea provides, I give you a little background, tell you when this came to me, and you say something like, “brilliant!” So I’m thinking to myself, you really think so? Interesting, maybe I should have kept it to myself…
I used to think this way, and until recently I really didn’t understand why I should think any differently. I just didn’t feel comfortable telling others the ideas I had for a start up or some cool app I have thought of. We all have great ideas everyday and it’s reasonable to think that others may want them, and may want to cash in on them. But I am so much less worried about that now that I’ve really thought about what these ideas are and how they are created. When we think of an idea, and just the idea, we have to think of some one concept that has a function. What does this idea do? I think this “one concept” that is your idea, is what we are so afraid others are going to take from us. But really, the formation of an idea is so much more. The best metaphor I can think of to describe the creation of an idea is the Big Bang.
I can be eating breakfast or falling asleep when all of sudden, I feel this spark right in the middle of my brain. I think to myself, “hmmm”. As the m’s are flowing out of my nostrils with a humming sound, the “big bang” has started to expand. It seems like in a few seconds, the idea that started as a small spark has become a giant (in scale) mental image of the big picture. The idea has burst, spreading all of it’s components throughout the rest of my skull. Like a chain reaction, the thousands of parts to this one concept have been exposed to my memory and now, I have it. I’ve thought of the logistics, the big picture, and everything in between. I have an idea of what this looks like on paper, on the web, the colors that make up the app, and the dollar signs start spinning in my eyes. All in a matter of seconds.
This experience of conceiving an idea (at what can seem like very random times in your every day routine), is what separates the original creator of the concept from someone trying to “cash in” on the idea. The original brain, the original spark and all the parts that caught fire because of it, are stored in my head, not yours. No matter how I describe this concept to you, you will never have the same image I have and I can never recreate it for since it was purely generative in nature. It was created by a process influenced by nothing except the flow of neurons that were once confined in this idea (now exploded) and cannot be controlled or duplicated. The matter making up this concept, just like the big bang, can neither be destroyed or created any more than the sum of the parts making up the whole (the idea).
This whole process is a very small part of being an entrepreneur or rather an inventor, innovator, and a designer. Though I can argue that this very short, and individual process that takes place in one’s head is the most important piece of pushing forward, and leading humanity into the future of being better in many aspects. People say, “write down that idea so you don’t forget.” But when this process I’ve described happens there is no way you can forget the most important aspects that describe very accurately what you’re thinking. It’s a process you cannot force or try to make happen. I think that there are different levels, different degrees of the same kind that occur when this happens. Not every idea you have makes you say, “I’ve got it!” and creates this kind of euphoria that the big bang makes in your head.
Here we are, still sitting at the coffee table, talking about this idea, and I find myself just talking up a storm about this concept. It’s all I can talk about, and your just nodding your head, taking sips of your coffee. As my friend and fellow “strategist” you understand the feeling of excitement I’m currently feeling and know that while, this may be just one of thousands if not millions of “good ideas” convinced every day, I truly believe this concept is it. The next big thing. And you understand that you haven’t experienced the big bang that made this concept and exposed it to my self and that this allows me to explain all of the aspects to you so quickly and clearly. As a fellow entrepreneur, you know that there is no way to take this concept and make it successful like I can. And I know, there is nothing to be worried about. The more I talk about this idea, the more I learn and expand on what it could be and ultimately, the better chance of being successful I am.