Why You Should Convince Yourself That Your Idea Sucks

I’m an idea machine. I come up with ideas all the time. I sometimes constrain myself when I think about ideas, so I can force creativity. I’ll say things like “It has to be something that a user can do with a click of a button”, and come up with 3-5 ideas about that.

Occasionally, I’ll come up with a really great idea for a business. I spend the next few days mulling over all the options, researching competition, and draw out in my head what it’s going to take to get it started. I put it on paper & sketch out what it will look like. I then ask other people what they think about the idea. I get obsessed with the idea and what it can become.

And then I do something that I probably shouldn’t do: I convince myself that the idea sucks. I convince myself I don’t have the domain expertise to do it or that it will take too long to implement. I convince myself that being first to market isn’t as sexy as it sounds and that raising 5 Million Dollars for this idea isn’t going to make me happy. It’s just going to make me busier.

Mitch Hedberg said it the best:

Sometimes in the middle of the night, I think of something that’s funny, then I go get a pen and I write it down. Or if the pen’s too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of ain’t funny.[1]

My pen is too far away. I’m already busy as it is. I work as interim CTO for startups, and it is working really well. And oh yeah, that was created because I had an idea to create a mobile development shop for enterprise. Which then turned into mobile development for startups. Which then turned into me becoming the interim CTO for startups. I turned an idea into something successful.

Still, it’s not enough. I used to act on them. I start building apps, websites and businesses within 48 hours of coming up with the idea. I’m a developer, I can just create them. Example 1, 23 & 4. The problem is that it takes up so much of my time with often little reward (#4 being the exception). I’m not the guy who has a million ideas and doesn’t act on them. I act on a lot of them. I give it a shot for at least 3 months. But, I still suffer a lot of fatigue after trying so many.

If the idea doesn’t go away for more than 3 weeks, act on it. As I type this, I’m trying to convince myself that my latest idea sucks. That’s partially the reason I’m writing this post. I”m on day 2.

So, if your like me where you have this disease of too many good ideas. Take a breathe. Let it site for a while. Write it down. If it doesn’t go away. Do it.

PS: Read the only resignation letter template you’ll ever need.