What makes an idea Bad?

“There is no such thing,” the saying goes, “as a stupid question.” This is true of ideas as well. There are no bad ideas, there are just ideas, and it is what you make of them that dictates whether it was a good idea or not.

So, what makes something a Bad Idea? There are many possible factors, each compounding the misjudgement of the next.

Inability to say no

Every idea you hear sounds amazing, and you want to try it.  It is only with significant effort that you can turn down an idea.  The mere inkling of an idea springs into your mind, or is suggested by a friend, and your first instinct is that you ought to give it a go.

Jumping into an idea with gusto

Instead of stopping to consider whether or not it is a good idea, you commit to the execution before even beginning your research.

Devoting all resources to an unproven idea

Sure, you have twelve other things that really want your attention, but that’s not going to stop you from ignoring all of them in order to spend some time researching that really amazing new idea your friend suggested.  Or, heck, why research?  Go out and buy your tools and equipment first, you can research it later.

Ignore past failures

So what if the last time you tried a similar project it didn’t work out?  That doesn’t mean it won’t work this time.  Even though you’re approaching it in exactly the same way.

Overemphasize successes

You’ve got so many projects going on, one of them is bound to work out.  Make sure you tell everyone about it, in as many forums as possible.  Read and re-read their positive comments and let them bolster you up.  When you start to think that a new project might be a Bad Idea, just think back to a successful one and ignore that feeling of impending doom.  Make sure you keep thinking of it as a success even after you get bored of it and move on; it still counts even if you’re not involved in it anymore.

Recruiting the Unwary

Have a great idea but lack the motivation to actually make it happen?  Get someone else on board to help you, so you don’t have to do all the work yourself.   Your infectious energy about the project is sure to convince them that its a good plan.  When you get tired of it you can let them finish. Added bonus:  A place to lay the blame if it doesn’t work!

Inability to stick with one project

One sign that your idea may have been Bad is the way it sits around waiting for you to finish it, along with all the others.  You’ll probably get back to it some day.  Unless you forget, or something more exciting comes along.

Blindness to Proven Methods

You don’t have any experience that can help you successfully accomplish your Idea, but you aren’t about to let that get in your way.  You can just get some books from the library, or look it up on youtube and eHow, and figure it out as you go.  You’ll be an expert in no time flat.  Don’t do anything crazy like signing up for a class.  Unless that sounds like fun, then go for it!

Overloading your schedule

You are already working full time, taking classes and/or lessons, in two bands and an orchestra, have three projects you’re juggling, trying to start a business or two, going dancing, and also maintaining an active social life.  That doesn’t mean you can’t also pick up a few new projects, and maybe sign up for some new classes to help you learn to do something else.  And why not start a blog while you’re at it?

Neglecting follow through

Don’t put away your tools.  Leave your projects out, because you’re totally going to get back to them.  Tomorrow, or maybe the next day, or perhaps next week. Drop ideas before they’re fully complete, or get bored of them once they are, and move on to the next thing, because that is more exciting.  Have some seasonal hobbies, so you can comfortably justify not working on them eight months of the year.

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  1. I love this. You’ve summed it up so well. I tried to read this list outloud to Honeybunches, and I ended up laughing so hard I was in tears.

  2. hehe – I’m going to send this to my boss.

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