Once I was complaining to Arun about how hard it is to come up with ideas, and he pointed out that coming up with ideas is actually very easy––what makes it hard is that we’re aiming for good ideas.
The next time you're coming up with ideas, tell yourself, Forget about good ideas, let's come up with a list of ten bad ideas. The dumber the better! I bet you’ll find that easy.
And once you loosen up your brain by coming up with ten bad ideas, some good ideas may follow.
But here's another thing: we're not great at judging if an idea is good or bad. So write all of your ideas down. Go back and read through your bad ideas occasionally. Something might surprise you. You might see from a different perspective, and, voila—you got yourself a brand-new good idea.
At Good Enough, we have a Bad Ideas discussion group (powered by Ponder) and a #bad-ideas channel on Slack. And we have many Google Docs titled "Bad ideas for ______."
We literally say bad ideas, because saying bad lowers our inhibitions. We're reminding everyone not to be afraid to propose any (maybe bad but possibly good) ideas! Also, maybe my bad idea triggers a better idea for someone else. Ideas beget ideas. Something like that.
Here's a sampling of our Bad Ideas:
- "For a good time, call 1-800-GOODENUF!" Listen to a recorded joke, or leave us a voicemail.
- A chat app where you can’t submit a response until 30 seconds after the last message. The idea being that this might encourage a slower, more thoughtful kind of response.
- A jackpot game on Apple Watch––use the Digital Crown to spin the machine.
- Action figures of everyone at Good Enough.
- A desktop reminder app that reminds you things randomly. Shaped like an animal, and it'll peek out of the border of your screen and “say” things like remember to breathe.
We might work on some of them, we might not. If any of these ideas trigger another idea in your mind, or if you end up working on any of the ideas here, please share with us!