Good Ideas Have a Lonely Childhood

Good ideas also have a lonely puberty, and only sometimes they have a teeming adulthood.

This is what your business and your brilliant ideas look like to everybody else.

You see it again and again; with music, art of any sort, political and religious movements, Social Media types, celebrities, and the list goes on and on.

Your business and your ideas, is no exception.

When you start out, no one wants to have anything to do with you. You are an unproven non-entity.

When things start to take off, hangers-on, orbital swanks, friends and family you’ve never heard of before, investors, “long time” fans; they all start showing up at your door.

Expect this and don’t be bitter about it.

Why should anyone hitch their ride to your wagon? What’s so special about you?

You have an idea? So does 6.8 billion other people.

All big ideas started out as word of mouth. ~ Hugh MacLeod

You can’t patent an idea. You can’t declare an idea your intellectual property. Did you know that?

The very second your idea hits the streets it belongs to everybody.

If you manage to turn your idea into a viable career or a business, stand back as the termites abandon the woodwork and swarm all over it; often at the cost of killing the idea that brought them there in the first place.

Often these termites look like a big boobed blond, or a fund-manager equivalent.

So whats the big idea Jack?


Other Posts in this Series:

Devil Gets His Due Either Way So Choose Wisely

Ignore Everybody

Part of the ongoing series based on a brilliantly delivered book Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity (Amazon Affiliate Link) by Hugh MacLeod.

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi 🙂

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  • K9 Coach

    Yep. So the way it is. Which is why I’ve always just marched forward with the ideas. Presence. Love it when it manifests. Perfect example… not that many years ago people thought treadmills for dogs was a crazy idea. Only for the lazy. So not so…. Now, it’s a concept getting a lot of wags. Rehabbing behavior with the concept has allowed many dogs an outdoor lifestyle. Who’s idea was it? Who cares. Act on it. It works. And I love that 🙂

    • Dino Dogan

      Hi JT…you know I was going to include a quote from @gapingvoid that goes “most great ideas start out as a word of mouth” ..which I think is a brilliant truth. But I edited my self for the length. In any case, it perfectly encapsulates exactly what youre talking about.

      P.S. Im a huge fan of treadmills for dogs. And it was my idea (lol, jst kiddin)

      • K9 Coach

        Dude, it was my idea… can’t I patent that or something! 🙂 Wait a second where did that idea come from? Wasn’t it really you who came up with the idea for some sort of Facebook thing? 🙂

  • Nia

    Could you please elaborate on the theory why one does not have to “Patent an Idea” I would be delighted in sharing w/ my Business Coach & Attorney.

    Thnx Dino

    • Dino Dogan

      For sure 🙂 A product, a system, a method, a process, etc. can be patented (or at least someone could try to patent them) but ideas are free floating and the second you share an idea with anyone in any way it has the power to influence the way that person thinks. That person could then create something that is based on your idea.

      For example. Dont you think Ford wanted to patent Model-T? And if he was successful we wouldn’t have the verity of cars we do today. McDonalds has a system that they hold secret and Im sure is patented, but that didnt stop Wendy’s, Burger King, etc from implementing a similar system.

      In other words, you can turn your idea into a system, method, process or a product, but its difficult to prevent someone from taking it and changing it just enough to avoid patent infringement lawsuit.

      Hope that makes sense.

      Ideas cant be patented because they shouldn’t be patented. Most “original” ideas arent original anyways. They are an evolution of a another idea that existed before it. Patenting an idea would start a slippery slope indeed.


      • Nia

        Causing a ruckus are we Dino…. you know that’s so against what the Lawyers advise for their small fee of $10K 😉

        • Dino Dogan

          Lawyers (back in Roman times) used to get paid by the word which is why today we have lawyerease. They are engaged in their own self preservation and self interest, often without even knowing it.

  • Julie Nutter

    Hate to say this, but the comments are almost better than the article… LOL!
    Ah, yes, the old “can’t patent an idea” thing. We actually make up a lot of things over this way… doggie contraptions and the like, most of which are geared toward a specific goal (a really innovative way to slow down a high teeter totter, for example) and though no one else has made a nifty contraption quite like ours….
    They could pirate the idea, just as we pirated the idea from another facility’s use of a bean bag to muffle the sound of the teeter crashing to the ground.

    I kind of like that you can’t patent an idea… I think it keeps us honest, and competition is always good, because it SHOULD make you more quality-conscious of your product.
    I like that there are dog trainers EVERYWHERE, but people are willing to travel however far they feel the need to get to the “right” one, or whatnot. Just goes to show, people will go where they believe the quality is. (I hate fast food, but I might go to Wendy’s, say, over McDonald’s…because I might believe their quality is better.)

    Cool article. Again. My brain is still thinking, even though I can’t seeeee anything because I left my glasses in the car. Hehehe…. >>

    • Dino Dogan

      To continue the thought from another comment. Imagine if the guy who invented the wheel patented it. There would be no horse carriage, there would be no Model T, there would be no transportation as we know it. Patenting an idea is a ludicrous notion…thats not to say that people haven’t tried.

  • Leon Widrich

    Haha, I hate do this to your posts. I am usually always trying to engage in discussion, bring some counterarguments to the table, but all I can do here is simply agree Dino. I am learning more and more how little ideas are worth and how much a distinct focus on developing a product is hard work and what really counts. Thanks to your post I once again know that this is nothing exceptional and I am not the only person to whom that happens. A pity you have no flattr-button here. 🙂

    • Dino Dogan

      Kinda like …right? I was checking it out, very interesting stuff…I want to know more. Thanks for writing about that 🙂

      • Leon Widrich

        haha, yeah, but that wasn’t me. Here is how one of my ideas went down from my post in case you haven’t seen it:
        I am working on something else now. Really trying to focus on only that one thing, which I believe has the potential to be highly useful twitter tool, called Buffer. A post regarding this will follow soon, I keep you posted if you are interested. And yes, that’s why this time, in comparison to the above post, I am going beyond ideas and start building. 🙂

        • Dino Dogan

          For sure…def keep me posted 🙂

  • Start Your Novel

    This reminds me of that Seth Godin post, “Launch like Google.”

    When Google launched, there was no big fanfare, no fireworks, no grand opening… and look at them now.

    You have to put in the hours. If your idea is good, if it engages people, it will stick.

    • Dino Dogan

      fo sho 🙂