How to effectively tell if you have a good idea…

How can you tell if your idea is viable in an efficient way? One of the most important pieces of creating things is to chase the right ideas. There are many ways to do this, but this is mine.

When I have a new idea…

…I don’t write it down.

I don’t write anything down when it comes up the first time. I figure if it’s not good enough to keep bubbling up again and again then it’s not worth my time.

I come up with lots of ideas, and most of them are just garbage. If I spent time flushing them all out, I would never get anything done. If I spent time pursuing them all I would jump from project to project too much.

So, instead, I just…don’t write it down. The best ideas, in my opinion, keep bubbling up over time, again and again. They are the ones you can’t get out of your head for years. This doesn’t work as well if you create for market, and are always chasing what’s hot at the moment, but it works for me because I don’t do that.

Obviously, I eventually write things down, but not until an idea has struggled to survive in the ocean of my mind for a long time.

Every good idea I’ve ever had was formed this way. I’ve wasted a lot of time on ideas that I think are too good not to develop immediately. Sometimes, an idea seems so good that I would be stupid not to write it down.

Inevitably, I find it months later and realize it was stupid, or not worth it. Even worse, sometimes I’ll dive into something too soon and realize after a couple weeks that I don’t care anymore and I wasted all my time.

It’s so hard to make things that last, and I figure if I don’t think about it enough for it to drive me crazy, nobody else will either. More importantly, I have to live with the idea for YEARS, which means I have to love it so much that I can’t stop thinking about it. Otherwise, it will fade out.

This also happens to be a great and efficient way not to let yourself get carried away with every new idea. New ideas are usually garbage anyway, and if you chase every one you will always be chasing garbage.

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