The lost and failed ancestor of your idea.

Let’s say you have a brand new idea. Let’s be honest, maybe you should just forget about it… Why? Because by definition you are absolutely biased by your own background, assumptions and context. You are to such idea what a mom is to her baby. You won’t see anything wrong with it, you’ll love it and you’ll do anything it takes to demonstrate the world that you are right (even if you aren’t).

As I was doing the laundry last Sunday, I realized that not because I do it every week, the clothes are getting cleaner, they are just the same every week. Same as the Jackpot player that pulls the lever once or a thousand times, the probabilities don’t really increase as it resets every time however subconsciously there is indeed a sense of progress. How many hours have you spent thinking about that awesome idea you had a year ago? How do you know that every day you don’t just reset your vision and replay the same scenarios on how that idea will succeed?

In order to break that mental ping pong you need to run a very simple mental exercise:

“Assume that exactly the same idea was already imagined by somebody smarter that you and with more funding than you… but it failed.”

By doing so, the following happens :

  • You stop day-dreaming that you have the killer, world changing idea that will be sold out the first day and focus in what is important which is your product.
  • It brings you closer to the hard reality that you might fail as well but it also gives you the chance to demonstrate that your execution and tactics are much better.
  • When somebody gives you feedback, you’ll actually listen instead of trying to “correct” them as they could be giving you valuable information that the other guys might have ignored.
  • You become more cold blooded with trivial features as making a series of wrong choices could have been the reason of the other guy’s demise .
  • You stop pretending you can be everything for everybody. You want to live to see the next day even if that involves only serving one segment at a time.

As the saying goes: “It is not the idea, it is the execution what matters”. Execution is the art of smuggling an idea from the Imaginary world to the Real world. The crystallization of something ethereal. We should focus on being the Marco Polo of ideas, you and only you know your silk road.

Every time I meet a film director I ask them the same question: If I gave the same script and budget to 5 different directors… would I get the same movie? The answer is unequivocally “no”.

So, why ideas would be different? Ideas being the equivalent of scripts. I would bet you would not be able to replicate Facebook even if you were sent back in time to that dorm at that moment in history same as you wouldn’t be able to replicate Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick even if you had the exact same crew and script.

That is actually good news. Because you could be the “One” that executes right, that non original idea you just got. : )

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