If you’ve got an idea worth spreading, I hope you’ll consider this random assortment of rules. Like all rules, some are made to be broken, but still…
– You can name your idea anything you like, but a google-friendly name is always better than one that isn’t.
– Don’t plan on appearing on a reality show as the best way to launch your idea.
– Waiting for inspiration is another way of saying that you’re stalling. – You don’t wait for inspiration, you command it to appear.
– Don’t poll your friends. It’s your art, not an election.
– Never pay a non-lawyer who promises to get you a patent.
– Avoid powerful people. Great ideas aren’t anointed, they spread through a groundswell of support.
– Spamming strangers doesn’t work. Spamming friends doesn’t work so well either, but it’s certainly better than spamming strangers.
– The hard part is finishing, so enjoy the starting part.
– Powerful organizations adore the status quo, so expect no help from them if your idea challenges the very thing they adore.
– Figure out how long your idea will take to spread, and multiply by 4.
– Be prepared for the Dip.
– Seek out apostles, not partners. People who benefit from spreading your idea, not people who need to own it.
– Keep your overhead low and don’t quit your day job until your idea can absorb your time.
– Think big. Bigger than that.
– Are you a serial idea-starting person? If so, what can you change to end that cycle? The goal is to be an idea-shipping person.
– Try not to confuse confidence with delusion.
– Prefer dry, useful but dull ideas to consumer-friendly ‘I would buy that’ sort of things. A lot less competition and a lot more upside in the long run.
– Pick a budget. Pick a ship date. Honor both. Don’t ignore either. No slippage, no overruns.
– Surround yourself with encouraging voices and incisive critics. It’s okay if they’re not the same people. Ignore both camps on occasion.
– Rise up to the opportunity, and do the idea justice.