The simple trick to launch your ideas
How looking on the bright side can help
It’s scary to put your hand up and reveal any new idea. Especially true when you’re in the company of people who you consider to be more accomplished. The comedian Eric Idle felt distinctly under-qualified when he joined Monty Python. Idle preferred to write alone at his own pace, while the other Pythons favoured collaborating in small teams. They all came together to vote which sketches got into the iconic TV show.
Idle’s solo habits meant he only had one vote. He admitted this was difficult: “You had to convince five others. And they were not the most un-egotistical of writers, either.” It’s worth remembering most great ideas, when first suggested, are laughed out of the room, for example…
- During his lifetime, Van Gogh could barely sell his pictures. He had to trade them for food or painting materials.
- Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple alone because they had too. Others thought it was a disaster in the making. The duo desperately offered equity stakes in the new company to the directors at the games company Atari (where Jobs had been working), Hewlett Packard (where Wozniak worked as an engineer) and even the owner of a manufacturing company who was supplying parts for their first circuit boards. All declined.
- J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series was turned down by no less than twelve experienced publishers. The rejection letters included criticism that the story was ‘too long’ and it would be a turn off for ‘ordinary’ readers because of its setting in an exclusive boarding school.
If you really believe in your idea you have to risk potential rejection and ridicule. If Eric Idle had not trusted his own instincts, he would not have suggested concluding the 1979 film, Life of Brian with a musical number. Let’s pay a small thanks he did. It led to him penning the hilariously philosophical hit (Always look on the…) Bright Side of Life. Not only a comedy classic, but also, apparently, the UK’s most selected funeral song.
What idea are you currently too scared to share? Is it time to get it out there? If so, be brave. You’ll soon find out if its not quite ready – and gather practical ways to improve it. One thing’s for certain. If you keep your ideas in your head, they’ll never get a chance to succeed.
This is adapted from my second book The Human Edge: How curiosity and creativity are your superpowers in the digital economy (Pearson, 2019) which won Business Book of The Year 2020, to check it out click here .
All right reserved Copyright © 2020 Greg Orme