Here are some criteria for determining if an idea is good from Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s book The Impact Equation (affiliate link):
1) What’s the goal of the idea?
2) How does this idea fit my existing framework?
3) How much work does this idea add to my life?
4) What will it take to accomplish this idea?
5) What additional resources do I need to make this idea work?
6) How will I know whether to keep going or quit?
7) When will I be done?
Also, good ideas make you feel something, attach themselves to other concepts in the brain, and fulfill a need.
The idea here is that with all these things working together you’re invested and engaged enough that you want to push it all the way through vs. trying to brute force or “will your way” through–neither of which I’ve found to be very successful.
And more good questions from Page 117….
- Do I have a market for this? Do I know how to reach the people who might want this?
- Do I have the resources and time and proclivity to do this?
- Is this something people will pay for?
- How sustainable is this business? Can I do it for a while?
- Is this business salable? Can I turn it over to someone later on?
A lot of these questions nicely compliment Avinash Kaushik’s career manifesto.
A while back I was cleaning up a bunch of old book marks for my web browser and came across a bunch of wiki pages, etherpad pages, ticketing systems, etc. that were barely if never used.
It’s tempting as a project manager to think that setting up infrastructure in advance is time saving and helpful. It’s not. If you aren’t ready to create the first five wiki pages or file the first three tickets, don’t create the system until you really will and until you’re sure you’ll create twenty-five more. Otherwise you end up with a dumpsite of half started tools and pages. They usually just get in your way to when you’re trying to get something done.
This idea is not original to me. Rework has a number of chapters on the topic. Going through the clean-up exercise I was doing revealed the pattern.
Some months ago I ran out of patience when someone asked for my advice on an open source project I’d already given lots of advice to. They were trying to help a fledgling project grow it’s “open source wings” behind closed doors (which rarely works).
Here’s what I said, and I still believe it.
Like I keep saying on the REDACTED devel list… my suggestion is to stop discussing and thinking about this internally (immediately) and switch over to doing 99% of anything REDACTED related on the external list and in public places–allowing for that 1% that doesn’t make sense.
I truly believe (from my own experience) that the only way this is going to catch on and grow is if you:
1) Do everything in public
2) Be consistent about whatever you do in public.
— If you say “we are going to have IRC meetings,”
then have IRC meetings each week at the same time
until people are dismayed and up in arms when you skip a week.
— If you say “we are going to do periodic REDACTED releases,
do period REDACTED releases that people can count on.”
— If you say, “We’re going to have a G+ group” advertise the
heck out of it, everywhere, and then do stuff, every day.
— If you say, “We’re going to build REDACTED and enable anyone
to do anything they want” then do it!
You can’t do any more “planning”… it’s time to “do,” where people can see stuff happening and build trust that when REDACTED says they are going to do something, they do. The key is building trust and respect. And that’s only going to come from consistently delivering and doing “something” where “something” doesn’t have to be very big.
I know it’s hard to get started. I’ve been there. I want to help, I also think it’s time to “do it!”
Here’s a great career manifesto by Avinash Kaushik. It could also be considered a manifesto for a satisfying life in general.
Take ten minutes and read it (without multi-tasking).
It was interesting to see an article in Fast Company about how millennials aren’t interested in accumulating stuff.
Humanity is experiencing an evolution in consciousness. We are starting to think differently about what it means to “own” something. This is why a similar ambivalence towards ownership is emerging in all sorts of areas, from car-buying to music listening to entertainment consumption. Though technology facilitates this evolution and new generations champion it, the big push behind it all is that our thinking is changing.
This new attitude toward ownership is occurring everywhere, and once we recognize this change, we can leverage it. Instead of kicking against the wave (which is the tendency of many institutions and leaders), we can help our organizations thrive in this strange new marketplace by going with the flow and embracing the death of ownership.
In another section
In other words, the reason we acquire “stuff” is becoming more about what we get from the acquisition. Purchasing something isn’t really about the thing itself anymore. Today, a product or service is powerful because of how it connects people to something–or someone–else. It has impact because we can do something worthwhile with it, tell others about it, or have it say something about us. As leaders and entrepreneurs, we can intentionally use this knowledge to our advantage. We just have to think about the “stuff” we sell in a slightly new way.
Maybe this is pushing the ideas in this article too far, however I think this is exactly what we are seeing in cloud computing. There’s no need to own all the hardware and infrastructure to develop or host a product. In some cases, like OpenShift, the entry-level tier is free.