I asked some of the most successful inventors, designers and product developers what the key is to discovering a GREAT idea. They had many and various answers. However, the most common answer was:
Have lots of bad ideas.
It seems odd that people at this level would mention bad ideas but once broken down, it becomes painfully clear.
Some of the responses:
“You can’t recognize a truly good idea unless it’s been preceded by a pile of bad ideas.”
“When I first started sketching out my ideas, I thought each and every one was special and good. Not until I’d went back through my stack of idea journals, did I realize they had obvious flaws or at the very least could be improved.”
“It’s much like any other skill. Your practice your ass off. And at each new level do you then realize how bad you were prior.”
James Altucher has a very pointed view on piling up ideas. Altucher is a successful hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, bestselling author, venture capitalist and podcaster. He has founded or cofounded more than 20 companies, including Reset Inc. and StockPickr and says he failed at 17 of them. James creates at least 10 new ideas a day. With this practice, his ideas get better and more viable.
So if you’re the person who thinks of ideas, or has an idea you feel is good. Then get busy. Come up with hundreds more and then circle back around on your idea and weigh it yourself.