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Validate your idea

Once again, I’m getting the opportunity to assess the quality of an idea simply by letting time going by. Like many people, once in a while I get an “ha-ah” moment, an idea that makes me stop and believe this could change the world… sort of. Sometimes, I get excited – really excited – about the potential of the idea. I stay up late in the evening and put down some thoughts on paper. After days, sometimes only hours I evaluate the excitement level associated with the idea. If the excitement remains above a certain level I add content (screen mock-up, documentation, etc.) and let it simmer some more. After a few iterations, something happens. Either the idea still floats and there is enough excitement around it to officially move forward or I abandon the idea altogether. In most case, the latter happens. When it does, I ask myself what originally triggered the excitement and why it so quickly faded. I realize there are many reasons why an idea doesn’t float for more than a week (too complex to explain, too few people would be interested, too expensive to launch, too expensive to maintain) but these reasons are self-assessment.

The real test is when you present your idea to people, sometime only 1 person will help you get a reality check. Other times you might need more perspectives but the point is that the more input you get, the better the quality of the idea will be.

A few of us at Pyxis are working on a pretty good idea and the ‘test of time’ seems to be telling us the idea has merit. After an initial brainstorming session, we asked ourselves if we still thought we should continue with the idea, we agreed so we had another brainstorming session.

We waited a couple of days to re-open the discussion and assess viability of the idea. The excitement level remains high as we are fine tuning the idea. Since we are so excited about the concept we decided to ask someone to join us for a ‘black hat’ session.

We were happy to realize that after the session the idea was still very valid and we had a few questions to answer before moving it forward.

For most people, I believe creative exercises are very exciting and when people see their ideas grow the willingly participate and contribute their energy to bring it to conclusion. Why do so many organization deprive employees of this process? Idea creation is such an exciting process that companies could easily benefit from that process instead of insisting on a top down approach for idea generation. It’s really too bad.

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