Over the years I’ve sparked numerous ideas for projects that I thought were worth contemplating. The problem I found was if I can have the idea then it’s a sure thing that someone else already has, but does that mean I should throw away the ideas?
I got to the point where I was actually thinking of ignoring my own ideas as they had all seem to be done, one way or another. My mind was not open enough to think otherwise. That was until recently when my views on what an idea was completely changed.
If Apple had done their research, finding Windows and *nix already existing in the market place and decided to drop the project, I wouldn’t be working on a very fine operating system that is, in my opinion, far superior to that of Windows.
Windows 7 was released recently, finally Microsoft bucked their ideas up and released an operating system worthy of most individuals’ interest and money in terms of concentrating more on the underlying architectural design. Microsoft have come a long way over the years and it was about time that they released a version of Windows worth looking at. I mean, they have been developing Windows for a good 20 years.
There is a valid point to my small dig. Ideas are not perfect, in fact they are far from perfect. Take my example above; it has taken Microsoft 20 years to release an operating system I would call “OK”. Saying that, they have not developed an operating system that I personally like however in a development way, they have gained respect from me. People like different things. I’m a developer, I want a stable, reliable and robust operating system and that’s why I choose to run OS X and/or Linux. Others like complete gaming machines and they choose Windows for this, being the most suitable operating system. People prefer MySpace over Facebook, AIM over MSN and so on.
Apple learned from Microsoft and as proven and most likely regretfully admitted, Microsoft has learned from Apple.
Do you see where I am going here? No? Ok: An idea should not be dropped because it’s already out there. In fact, the more you work with an idea, the more potential it could have and other peoples ideas can benefit yours.
Over the past couple of years I have started developing web applications that, within two or three months were dropped due to an already existing idea “out there”. I continued to have ideas and I continued to drop them. Or at least I used to.
September last year I started to form an idea for a web app that I thought had not been done. After research and a good 4 weeks into the development I discovered such a web app that had been released just before I started the development process. As furious as I was with myself because such a problematic scenario had risen once again I decided I would actually take my idea and evolve it. So I did, and the idea did evolve and because of that, in my own and others opinions, something of potential greatness is brewing on my Mac.
A good idea is a thought or series of thoughts, but what makes an idea worth while? For the past many years I was under the impression an idea worth pursuing is an idea no one else has yet pursued. Oh how I was wrong, after much frustration, complex thoughts and a sore head I came to the conclusion that a good idea is one that can evolve. If I were to tell you my original idea compared to what it has now evolved into you’re likely not to see the correlation between the two and you’re sure as hell going to laugh at the initial idea compared to the evolved – the first idea was child’s play.
As mentioned, a good idea is an idea that can evolve. As an example Mark Zuckerberg (Founder of Facebook) had an idea for social networking within a single University. If that idea could not have evolved Facebook would not be in the position it is today as one of the top respected social networking sites in the world.
How do ideas evolve? Well that’s completely down to the individuals working on the idea. For me an idea is sparked and I work on evolving that idea when ever it pops into my head. I’ve had a great deal of fulfilling moments when my ideas have evolved into larger ideas. Just keep something in mind, don’t allow the evolution to stop the development of your idea – save some of the ideas for later, get your idea out there first and work on it from there. This is a lesson I am abiding by now and forever.