5 Steps to Coming Up with Your Next BIG Idea

The Secret of New Ideas-1

Where do great ideas come from?

You would be led to believe that they just happen. That they just pop into existence.

But, that’s not how BIG ideas happen.

They take hard work, repetition, and rework.

Here are 5 steps to help you come up with your next BIG idea.

Where BIG Ideas Come From…

Great ideas don’t come in one fell swoop.

Whether it is the plot for a novel or the plan for a new business, BIG ideas take time, discipline, and labor.

“BIG ideas don’t happen in one eureka moment.”

Rather, they start as a small idea… and later grow into a BIG idea!

Iterate Iterate Iterate. Repeat Repeat Repeat.

You don’t just sit down and instantly come up with your next career move. Or design your next new product in one sitting.

The artist knows that creativity cannot be forced. The designer knows the product will take many iterations. And the programmer knows that the code will require much rework.

“How to make BIG Ideas: Capture. Work. Rework. Restart. Ship. Repeat.” (Tweet This Quote)

BIG ideas require hard work, dedication, and of course, a little luck.

Here are 5 Steps to Coming Up With Your Next BIG Idea:

  1. Capture – When inspiration hits, you have to capture that idea! It may be a tiny thought or a fleeting image. Stop what you are doing and write it down. BIG ideas come from small ideas. Capture that thought whether it is in your Moleskine notebook, or on your iPhone. Otherwise, that small moment of brilliance may be gone as quickly as it arrived.
  2. Work On It – Ideas seldom arrive in a final form. They are rough. They are drafts. You then have to put in the work to mold and shape them. When you suddenly have a new angle on your idea, make sure you stop everything and work on it. It may mean stopping in the middle of something to jot down just one more variation on your idea. When I am in the design phase, I regularly open my trusty Moleskine to add a thought or new detail to my idea.
  3. Rework It – Once you are working on your idea… repeat, repeat, repeat. Iterate, iterate, iterate. You will go through many, many versions of your idea before it is even a 1.0 version. And once it is mature, you will still make it better. Look at the iPhone, one of the most successful products of all time. The newest iPhone is really just the repeated iteration on the original great idea.
  4. Restart – Don’t be afraid to restart your idea from scratch. In fact, a good exercise is to put your notes aside and try to restate the idea anew. You will often find that your restarted version has new information or visions. Or you might even find that your idea has changed entirely.
  5. Make Sure You Ship – There is always a limit. You can’t iterate forever. You have to ship your idea. If you never show your idea to the world, then your hard work is wasted.

What is Your Next BIG Idea?

You never know when that next BIG idea is going to hit you.

(Although there is a 75% chance it will be while you are in the shower or at the gym.)

When that idea appears, capture it. It may not come back again.

Then make it. Mold it. Work it. Restart it.

Own that BIG idea, and eventually you won’t even need your notes. You’ll know it like the back of your hand.

When your BIG idea is ready… ship, release, and start again.

Question: What BIG idea do you need to work on? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


One thought on “5 Steps to Coming Up with Your Next BIG Idea

  1. Great article! I think the main thing that helps me is the “re-work” part. I always have a fairly vague idea at first, but then after thinking and going over the idea, it ends up completely different in the end, usually for the better. It’s like having a rough draft.

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