I find that people come up with ideas all the time, mint them, and then post them out there for people to consider. Take my idea of the new cities of the web. It’s interesting to consider. For instance, if you’re selling insurance or lawn care products, what will you do with this information? That’s what I’m working on today, such as it were. Because the idea alone isn’t fully useful, is it?
Ideas Require Application
Can you imagine if the Wright Brothers stopped after saying, “Sure, it’s totally possible to fly.” That wouldn’t get us from Boston to London. Someone always has to take an idea further and apply it, break it out, extrapolate it, test it against the real world. The road to failure is littered with people who went no further than the idea phase.
What does it take to make ideas real?
“And Then What?”
I find that questions are amazing tools. Think about that question: “and then what?” and apply it to your own ideas. I say “cities aren’t as much about geography as they are recommendations.” I then say, “if you’re a marketer, how do you apply this to your product or service?”
Ah, now this gets tricky. Because you might say, “Then I’ll talk to people about how great my product or service is.” I say, “Where, or how, or in what manner?” You might reply, “I’ll blog about it.” And then what? And then what?
For instance, in thinking through how this concept of referral based marketing could be applied to a lawn care company, I thought about targets. It’s not the end user of the product I have to connect with deeper. It’s the seller of the product. Okay, so what does that seller need? And then how do I help them even more? Do I have to help them beyond the boundaries of my product? Probably. And then what?
Go Forth And Execute
An idea is a seed that looks pretty but won’t feed the family. Take what you learn and execute. Try things. Test. Discover. Explore. Apply. That’s what will get you moved forward.