Two reasons why you should let people steal your ideas

Yes, let them steal them. Crazy? Not so. I’ve written before about how I freely give up ideas with complete disregard for what other people or businesses will do with them. Why? Two reasons:

  1. I come up with interesting ideas, not pragmatic ones. I make a concerted effort to not come up with “me-too” ideas that any dude can execute; only ones that I would do myself because I’m crazy enough to try.
  2. Most teams and people can’t tell a good idea from a bad one. Simply put, coming up with ideas is easy, but making them interesting is hard work. Most people go with the first thing that pops into their head; which is usually junk.

In the world of big business, one thing you can count on is that everyone is playing not to lose; they are protecting the cash cow what brought them their current success. These organizations have set themselves up for eventual failure because the only ideas they’ll execute are the sure bets; not the ones that might take them down a new and unexplored path.

I’ve been in situations where a client takes an idea I proposed at some point during the engagement and executes it without me, only to see that it wasn’t as simple as “plug and play”. When they execute the initial idea, they lack awareness, criteria and pizzazz to pull it off with style; completely rendering the idea flat without any punch.

When this happens I laugh and remember the following sentence: Ok-ness is the enemy of greatness.

Most people are “ok” with good. That’s why we see good all around us, and not a lot of brilliant, which quickly deteriorates into mediocrity. Making ideas great takes time and effort, the type that only really committed and passionate individuals and teams are known for; the result is often something brilliant.

Bottom line: As an innovative entrepreneur, understand that the average Joe won’t execute a disruptive idea, they will execute pragmatic ones that won’t require a lot of effort. Even if you give the average Joe a very pragmatic idea, they won’t be able to make it interesting.