For today’s quote of the day we will talk a little bit about how the best ideas are developed. The best ideas don’t evolve from within an intellectual echo-chamber. They are poked and prodded from different angles and by diverse opinions to ensure they can stand testing. For those who shelter their ideas from scrutiny they rob themselves of the intellectual stimulation that having “idea sex” can produce. This is how ideas and concepts cross-polinate.
“Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy.”-Thomas J. Watson
This is important, because the best ideas are stress tested. With each round of scrutiny our ideas face they are being refined and refortified.
Knowing this, we shouldn’t become too “sexy” or dogmatic about our ideas too early in the refinement process. We should hold them in high regard without feeling the need to be over-protective of them.
From the board-room to family dinners, learning to cultivate the ability to induce and stimulate healthy debate and thought-provoking conversation around ideas is a super-power that yeilds high dividends.
One of the first times I heard about this idea of “idea sex” was in reading some of James Altucher’s content on the subject. Since then, I’ve been consistently setting aside a certain amount of time for idea generation.
To get started with the process, just generate two lists of great things/products that you couldn’t live without. after you have a decent amount of things on your lists (say, 15-30 items), see if those things can be combined to create something better.
A good example of this is how the action figure came to be. When Stan Weston developed the idea for GI Joe, he took the idea of a doll and merged it with what boys already liked and were playing with (guns and action).
By allowing two attractive ideas to have “sex” in this way, Weston was able to open up a whole new world of possibilities by creating “dolls” for boys and the action figure was born. A quite lucrative idea that has generated billions.
Don’t Be Shy!
Share some of your favorite things in the comments below and start thinking of creative ways to bring two things together and make one better thing. To receive more great content like this directly to your inbox, subscribe/follow.
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