Ideas are Fragile

Ideas are Fragile

2012, Jun 27    

Though I don’t think this 37signals post is much to write home about, I give it credit for pointing me to this great thought from Jonathan Ive, about Steve Jobs… I read it months ago, but it suddenly started ringing in my ears today.

And just as Steve loved ideas, and loved making stuff, he treated the process of creativity with a rare and a wonderful reverence. You see, I think he better than anyone understood that while ideas ultimately can be so powerful, they begin as fragile, barely formed thoughts, so easily missed, so easily compromised, so easily just squished.

I think it’s ringing because my place of work has a lot of big ideas that are in such early stages right now, thanks to the Tin Can API.

So many great ideas start out helpless, only half thought out, sometimes only as sentiments, and hard to explain. They haven’t solidified, haven’t plugged the holes that will be poked through them, haven’t covered all the cases yet.

But idea quality and idea maturity are two different things. Try to discern between them.

Protect and foster great ideas, which might otherwise be lost in the fray of “why it won’t work”. Sure, maybe those reasons are valid right now, but what if you could change the forces at work? Consider the idea in a scenario where one of those obstacles are overcome. It may have such big and crazy potential that it’s worth a shot to tackle what’s in the way.