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You Have a Brilliant Idea! Don't Let it Pass You By

Sep 10, 2014

You Have a Brilliant Idea! Don't Let it Pass You By 

I had a friend in college who would always complain about not being able to wake up. 'When my alarm goes off I automatically reach out and hit the snooze button.' He said. 'I don't even open my eyes!'

'I should invent an alarm clock that I can't reach when I'm sleeping, so I can't hit the snooze button!' He was an engineer, and he could have created it.

But, he sat on the idea for a couple of years. And in 2005, somebody else invented Clocky. Clocky is an alarm clock with attached wheels that jumps off your night stand and runs away and hides when it starts ringing so that you can't switch it off and go back to sleep! It's such a huge success that it won the Ig Nobel Prize - which is an alternate award for clever and unusual ideas and to "honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think."

Have you ever seen a new invention or website and remarked to an old friend, 'arre yaar, I had that same idea, remember I told you about it when we were in college?' Yup. Happens all the time. You let the idea float past you, it swims into someone else's net, and they catch and cook it into a perfect dish.

We're surrounded by ideas... thoughts that are floating past us popping in and out of our subconscious... but it's the most difficult thing on earth to reach out and grab one before it floats on and is caught by someone else's stroke of genius.

The good news is, we all have access to good ideas. They are not a product of elaborate education, a super high IQ, or some immeasurable genius quality. It's a product of the human mind - the ability to make connections, to think up solutions. That is our gift.

But we don't always reach for the ideas when they show up ... I don't know why. Maybe we don't have the confidence in ourselves that we will be able to do justice to the idea? Maybe we lack courage? The idea of huge success is as scary as the idea of huge failure.

An idea is like the sun. We are afraid that if we look directly at it we risk getting burned by its intensity. So we glance at it out of the corner of our eyes with sinking hearts as it float past us, pretending there's nothing there.

But all your ideas can be successful because all your ideas are good. That sounds unbelievable, I know, but let me explain why.

My friend Munir told me about the idea that there is no such thing as original thought, only original expression. Everything you think has already been thought before at some point in our history somewhere in the world. An idea may not be original but what you do with it, what you make of it when you bring it from the abstract to reality, that's what gives it value.

An artist, for example, might have a thought or feeling in his mind. It could be anything - love, hurt, pain... When he paints that emotion onto a piece of canvas, the expression of his thought is unique to him. That is what is makes his art valuable.

This idea that no thought is original actually works to your advantage. Because, although each human life is unique, the human experience is bound by a common thread of needs, desires, fears, etc. When you have an idea, someone else will have thought about it before. If you devise a solution to a problem, chances are several others will have that problem and could use that solution.

When Sanjeev Bhikhchandani was job hunting he noticed that there was no comprehensive job-listing service that people could use to find jobs. He conceived of, an online job portal, as a solution to that problem. And everyone in India who was out there facing that same problem, turned to naukri as their solution.

The idea of job posting wasn't original - newspapers and magazines were already doing it. But his method of bringing together the postings, using the new platform that the Internet offered, made his execution of the idea original. And the grit and determination with which he implemented it took the idea to greater heights.

Naukri was so successful because it was applicable to just about everyone everywhere in India. However, even ideas that are weird and out there can be successful - because some section of the world will always relate to it. And those are the people that will buy your idea, and be your niche market.

Someone in Japan found a solution to the difficulty of storing watermelons in the fridge, by inventing the square-shaped watermelon. Enough people were facing that same problem, and today a single watermelon sells for hundreds of dollars, especially in Russia where they are reportedly selling for $800.

Ideas are free and easy. Action... that's the real challenge. Get on that, and that's half your battle won. There may be many people out there facing the same problem you identify. They might also possibly be imagining that same solution - but success goes to the one who takes action.

It needn't be the one great world-changing idea. It just has to change your life, and move it forward. You have little ideas at different points in your life. Perhaps at different points in your career, your venture, your relationships. At work, for example, you might have an idea for a different way to run your department, or an innovative communication strategy. Don't sit on it, because if you're afraid to rock the boat, maybe the boat won't take you anywhere.

But if you can become the person who can throw a hook into this universal idea pool, and fish one out every time you need one, that's your key to success.

Now, if you were hoping I would talk more about how not to let your ideas disappear, then fret not because I will ...but you have to wait for my next letter.

Until then, when you see an idea in the air floating past, don't just look out of the corner of your eye, turn your head and look straight at it. Because its light, like that of the sun, will show you the path ahead.

Image Source: Artur Tarwacki CC BY 3.0


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10 Responses to "You Have a Brilliant Idea! Don't Let it Pass You By"


01 Jun, 2015

hi anisha my idea to start a website with 2 computers and 1 phone . we have to collect all the details of labour who are uneducated. labour section means like tents, construction labour, autos, mechanics, plumbers, tyre, tube replacement persons, electricians, every day to day helpful persons we have to collect data of their phonenumbers and address and everything for that we have to collect some fees for that registeration. after we have to start some toll free no.s and start a service name all in 1 service. we will allocate different consumers this address of the labour as per the address cited we will allocate labour near to that area. by this un educated labour will allocated to work and they will develop and we also developed by this activity monthly we will collect some amount for this publicity


01 Jun, 2015

Invest ment in Stock market as a long term good investor with a good returns.having experience in stock market since 19992 to tilll date

Like (1)


01 Jun, 2015

Honourable PM of India sirs Iam Dr.sivagurunathan, BSc,MBBS DLO ( ENT and Family Physcian ) having 33 years experience in health care of our people ,fullyy dedicating all my 33 years ,24 hrs a day all the 365 days with residence above the hospital with my wife also a Dr.I have got a V. INNOVATIVE CONCEPT to Reach the Unreached at every nook and corner of every village with the involvement of their own community trained people and make them to take care of every individual with basic screenigs ,treating minor ailments, deal with emergency Injuries, Chest pain Labour pain etc, etc. and lot a more ) by establishing a STREET CORNER CLINIC at every nook and corner of our country and to REACH THE UNREACHHED For a Good Health care with my Innovative concepts witch I have a lot about it in my mind. AWAIT YOUR KIND EARLY REPLY SIR

Like (1)


31 May, 2015

Dear Anisha, Thank for such a brilliant article I am mechanical engineer with around 30+ years of experience and planning to start something of my own like starting a small factory of my expertise. But suddenly I thought of investment, space etc etc based on my kind of experience which means lots of mean. After reading your article and with so much of contribution in my field of activity, when I think in similar line what you have written I am feeling blank. Please guide me how to focus to get ideas since during my tenure of service I have contributed for developing many new things for the benefit of companies I was working. But these needed huge investment, so with small investment how to start a new business. Thanks in advance.

Like (1)

Kiran Kumar

22 Sep, 2014

Dear Anisha, Firstly i appreciate to grab your thought and put into Action of sharing such kind of brilliant Articles to People. You just an inspirational person. Your articles generally brush up our brains and make it dance in several ways. It makes us life interesting and happy and shows lot of possibilities. One day i promise you that i will post my experience of success by grabbing my thought or else you might take my experience of success as an example to Readers.Thanks alot.

Like (1)

Vinodbhai Dabhi

19 Sep, 2014

I have a good idea of utilizing fiber optic cable bits in revolutionize general illumination

Sunil Chaudhary

12 Sep, 2014

Mere pass idea hai, mai idea bechakar paisa Kamana chahata hu ! Mai kya karu?

sunil soni

11 Sep, 2014

Dear Anisha Thanks for such a nice letter. its true what said about the idea. I usually get lots of ideas in different fields, so much so that I sometime start thinking that I can only have ideas but when it comes to implement, I am helpless. although I do note whatever the idea comes to my mind for review it latter. can you please put your thoughts on how to be able to execute those ideas also. I do see some of my ideas being executed by someone in the world. Best Regards Sunil


11 Sep, 2014

Dear Anisa, Your articles have always been taken from real life feelings and happenings. This article is also very close to my heart. Many times it has happened like what you mention here. My idea, becomes someone Else's success story. But now I am confident that I will be converting my Idea into reality, and I have already announced to my dear friends that i will be starting my Interactive seminars from 25th of Dec 2014. I will share the same with you also, in a couple of weeks, and your inputs would be very helpful. But yes, your articles are though inspiring, and come at a right time. It is said, when the student is ready, the teacher arrives. And yes, when you start thinking about a particular thought, your conscious mind also starts attracting similar thoughts from the universe. Great going. Parag


11 Sep, 2014

Hi, I have ideas for few websites and designs for few things (like blue-tooth headset). What i don't know is who and how to share it with and if i don't then how to take it forward? How do you share it with somebody (say a partner or a team) and still keep it as yours? I mean what if somebody else takes and uses it leaving you baffled!!? Regarding websites, i would like to know what is the best solution (hosting, designing etc.) to take it forward myself, if possible? Regards PK


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