Linus Pauling said that the best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas. I think I agree with that …. mostly. I say mostly because I’m not sure an idea can be considered good until somebody does something with it.
Lots of people have good ideas, and lots of those people never do anything with them.
One challenge with having an idea is that it takes courage to share it. The bigger the idea the more courage it takes.
Which brings us to Craig McCaw. Mr. McCaw is an idea man. I don’t know this for sure but I’d bet he has had lots of ideas, some good, some not so good. But one idea he had that turned out to be something of a success was the wild idea of a cellular phone.
As a pioneer of the cellular industry and the founder of McCaw Cellular, now part of AT&T, he envisioned a time when a person would have one phone number that followed them wherever they went. That was a crazy idea, a big idea and an idea he had the courage to share.
It was also an idea that worked. Today your cellular phone will work around the world, same number, following you wherever you go.
One reason it worked, maybe the biggest reason, is that he had the courage to give voice to his ideas. He was willing to risk looking silly, or stupid, or even crazy to share his ideas and see what would come from them.
Many of the things we take for granted today were once just an idea. Many, if not most of those ideas might even have been considered impossible and if no one had the courage to share their idea they would have stayed impossible.
Giving voice to your ideas is the first step to success.
So take a chance. Share your idea, tell somebody. Yes, you need to protect your idea from those who would steal it but don’t let that keep you from taking your idea from it’s hiding place and showing it off a bit.
Just having an idea might make it a good idea but letting it loose just might make it a great one. Ideas only truly become powerful when they are shared.
So…what’s your big idea?
2 thoughts on “The Power of an Idea”
I love having the same phone number that I did before I moved 100 miles up the road last year.
Every now and then, I’ll encounter a new novelist who’s afraid to share his work because somebody might steal his idea. But there is a reason you can’t copyright ideas, only the words. The reason is that the idea is the easy part. From there you spend about a year turning the idea into a book. Then you try to convince someone it’s a good book, which is even harder than writing it. Then you do a lot more work, and then you hope readers read it. It’s hard enough doing that with your own ideas. There’s no reason to try to scrounge up enough energy to do it with somebody else’s ideas.
Thanks Michael, your comment reminds us all that the real challenge is in the doing, not the thinking. The higher we strive to go the more effort we must make. It’s the law of success.