Save your ideas

Does the follow situation sound familiar? You got the insight of a lifetime. You came up with something so brilliant, it leaves you wondering why nobody else has thought of it. You tell your family about it, your friends and the friends of your friends. Everybody shares your enthusiasm. You are sure, this is the idea the world has been waiting for!

Then you start speaking with the experts.

The technological geniuses who are supposed to implement your revolutionary idea look at you with pity. While they do share your enthusiasm, they reluctantly tell you the bad news: this is impossible.

Your idea might be too expensive, technology might not be ready for your futuristic vision, the materials you require might be too scarce or the public might not be ready yet.

You feel devastated. Someone popped your balloon. You should obviously forget about your Utopian idea. It sounded too good to be true, and that’s exactly what it has proven to be.

It has been pointed out that, while cute on paper, your idea is unrealistic at best. If you’re anything like most people you will be ready to drop your precious idea like a brick. ‘Time to find a new idea.’

You’d be only half right.

Should you go on an look for better ideas? Absolutely. Should you forget about your ‘crazy’ idea? Absolutely not.

Don’t discard ideas like these. Save them.

Promising ideas that are impossible or unlikely at the moment should not be forgotten. Sometimes your brilliant ideas are just not very likely to take flight in the short run. However, one day, when the time is right, they might get the chance to prove themselves. Give the ideas that make you happy the benefit of the doubt. Store them in a database of promising ideas and go through that database once in a while.

Technologies that seemed science fiction yesterday will appear tomorrow, resources that are scarce today will become widely available tomorrow, ideas that are ridiculed by today’s status quo will be applauded by the zeitgeist of tomorrow… You get the drift.

Don’t waste your ideas. Don’t kill them prematurely. You never know what possibilities the nearby future holds. Imagine having the idealistic idea of starting an alcohol-free pub in the Netherlands. The idea would not have gotten a whole lot of support a few years ago …to put it mildly. Then, Januari 2014 the Dutch government decided to crank up the legal drinking-age from 16 to 18 years old. Where do all the 16- and 17-year-olds, that suddenly are banned from nearly every pub in the country, go now? Exactly.

Even if new opportunities cannot revive your visionary idea, merely looking at the idea again can spark the inspiration you need. Collect ideas with potential and don’t forget your babies. One day they might pay you back for your trust.

Have you ever had an idea that was not applicable at the moment, but that proved successful once the right conditions appeared? Did you implement the idea yourself, or did someone else beat you to it? I’d love to hear your experiences, so please let me know in the comment box below.

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