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— 12 June 2005 —

No Idea Sucks Forever

I’ve written that before: no ideas sucks forever.

Ideas are funny things. You have them and they either float away into the ether, or stick with you and drive you insane til you do something about it. Sometimes a bit of both happens.

It’s funny to think of an idea that has practical applications for other people besides yourself. Sure, the idea initially comes up because you wish you could do X. But then you think, other people might like this too.

And those other people might be willing to pay for this. And that money could make me debt free. And the idea grows. And actually, it could apply in X situations too. And that could bring me a steady income. And it gets bigger. When you think how this idea could apply to larger and larger markets. And all of a sudden you think, wow, I could sell this in a couple of years for millions of dollars.

But in the back of your mind you know that it’ll never work unless you make your main goal to help people. Cause that is really the crux of making money from a good idea: you have to solve a problem people have, and they have to be willing to pay you as a way of saying thanks.

I really believe that if you focus on making people’s lives easier (or an adjective of your choice) that the money will follow. And even if the money doesn’t follow, you made people’s lives easier and that’s something you can at least put in your reputation bank.

It’s often the little ideas that solve little problems that can make big waves. “We need an easier way to share pictures and let people comment on them.” “We need a better way to manage projects.” Such simple ideas that solve one person’s problem. The money comes when you can repeat that process tens-of-thousands of times.

No idea sucks forever. Put that together with JF‘s fav quote of, “Make no little plans,” and the quote from Local Hero, “Dream large, laddy. Dream large.”

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