I wish I had a dime for every time I've heard "ideas are a dime a dozen." The idea being, anyone can have a good idea, but only super-humans can some how execute. While I won't argue against the importance (and frequent oversight) of execution, what if this cheapening of ideas is the wrong idea?
If ideas truly are a dime a dozen, then explain cover bands. Pretty much any bald dude with a pony tail can play and perform "Mustang Sally" better than Mack Rice, yet the song was Rice's idea. Pop music is littered with examples of performers (i.e. "executers") transforming the ideas of others into magic. But what if this weren't only true with entertainment? What if there were thousands, if not millions, of ideas looking for their Elvis? And what if those with resources (i.e. money, materials, connections, etc.) would be perfectly happy to simply serve as the cover band for kick-ass ideas? And what if we all stood to benefit from the music they produce?
So, what gives? Why isn't this happening? What if this breakdown in potential for awesomeness, personal fulfillment, and societal progress lies in a lack of proper connections instead of worn out cliches? What if, what we're lacking isn't more dimes, but fewer barriers for those ideas to transform into action? Is it any coincidence those with more resources via family or socio-economic status tend to also be better at executing? What if we stopped believing it's only those who work the hardest who bring their ideas to life -- and start admitting it's typically those with the fewest barriers to cross who end up executing the most?
And it's not just about economic barriers. How quick are we to write off those without enough degrees, tittles, language ability, or years on earth for not having ideas worth sharing? And, as long as we have tried and true cliches to tune them out, how much longer will we be deaf to their potential and the power of their ideas?
We at What If...? are working to create those connections that will turn ideas into world-shaking actions, but what if you started taking a more active with your ideas today? As Seth Godin points out, "Ideas built to spread are more likely to spread."
What if you unleashed your inner idea-star? It may not be as easy as it sounds, but you also might find how much easier execution becomes once your idea is embraced by others (or believed in by yourself). Where can you start? One place is writing loglines, or expressing an entire movie in a sentence. Sounds easier than it is, but these sentences have been sold for quite a few dimes.
Another avenue is Quirky.com. Founder Ben Kaufman and his team are on the vanguard of raising the value of individuals' ideas. The entire company developed from Ben wondering, "What if invention were accessible to everybody" to a recent partnership with GE asking, "What if we opened up our patents to the masses and see what ideas they might have to give them new life?" What if...we could invent together? That's a pretty powerful sound.
Ideas are trending, which ones will you rock?