You’re wasting space in your brain.

It’s 2017 (as of writing this) and the world is open sourced. Companies are actively opening up patents to the world. It’s almost like society is realizing that we’re all in this together and stockpiling thoughts and ideas will progress nothing. Definitely not your bank account.

What’s the point of all these ideas taking up head space?

“I’ve got this killer idea for an app… but I have no clue how to even download one from the app store”

“I’ve got a million dollar idea that’s been in my head for years now but I don’t want anyone taking it.”

The absolute worst one of all:

“I’ve got a game changing idea….but sign this NDA first.”

If you even use that acronym around me I’ll make it a point to completely disregard whatever you say. If you’ve taken enough action to download an NDA, print it out, and have people sign it, and haven’t even wireframed or put your thoughts about this brilliant idea on paper…you’re doing it all wrong.

Idea’s don’t get stolen.

Executing on your idea can be scary, let someone else do it

If you can prove that your idea, or someone else’s idea was “stolen” PLEASE post in the comments. I want time-stamped proof that you had an idea (a tweet, an email, ANYTHING) that was “released” out into the world and someone, an actual human being or group of human-like beings, EXECUTED on the idea, even if it failed fantastically. I’m happy to be proven wrong, a good punch to the ego is often necessary. I just don’t believe that anyone who had an idea in its infant form ever woke up years later to see their idea actually out in the world.

If they did see their idea out in the world, it’s probably because someone else had the same idea, but actually did something about it.

Idea stealing. It doesn’t happen. Because ideas have no monetary value. Some folks have said some ideas are worth $5 and there is a 10x multiplier for each executed phase of that idea. i.e. you created an MVP for your idea, you now have a value of $500. You landed a paying customer from your idea, $5000. These valuations are being incredibly generous.

Your ideas are worth nothing, even if you added up all the good and bad ones in your head and turned them into one giant idea factory. $0.00.

I’ve tried having people steal my ideas to prove that even if I gave someone the idea, pushed them to execute on it, hell even gave them resources to put together an MVP, nothing ever comes of it.

People have enough shit going on in their lives than to steal your idea and run with it. Everyone has their own ideas they don’t even execute on, let alone execute on yours.

Alright, that’s enough making everyone with ideas they haven’t executed on feel bad. Sorry, just needed to get my point across to stop hoarding your, statistically speaking, not-good-ideas.

Have you ever had a hypothesis about something, someone, or just thoughts that you at first believed could be true based on the limited data you had? I have. After weeks, months, even years of thinking about this specific hypothesis, and not testing any of your hunches, your brain can begin to believe it as fact. These feelings can be reinforced when you don’t see anyone acting on your idea in the marketplace, thus validating that you’re the sole proprietor of this brilliant idea.

It’s actually more likely that there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of other folks out there with the same idea, same feelings, and same thoughts running through their head.

The remedy?

Spread your ideas like a disease. A disease that stimulates yours and other brains. A disease for good.

There’s really nothing better for your brain than a stimulating discussion with another person or group of folks, especially when you’re the focal point having to describe, and potentially defend this idea you hold so dear. If you think your idea is so great, it’s probably a good idea to test the market with folks you’re comfortable getting feedback from. I imagine you also have a certain level of trust with your innercircle of friends if you’re, for some reason, still fearful of the dreaded “steal mah idea and make millions!!!!” scenario. Record the conversation for posterity, and for legal proof purposes when you’re fighting your friend in court trying to get their bajillions of dollars they made from your idea.

If your idea is met with positivity, or in some cases, negativity, use it as motivation to actually do something if you’re married to the idea. If not, find someone with the same passion and the actual resources to bring it to life. Don’t you want to see your idea become something more than just words floating in your head?

I like to think of my brain as a hard drive. After years of new information being downloaded, there’s probably a lot of garbage memories, bad ideas, and fun-facts that are no longer fun. Delete them to open up more space for more important thoughts.

Delete, or start using your ideas. Idea’s couldn’t be more worthless just sitting in your head. It’s actually selfish holding onto ideas. You’re hoarding what could be a benefit to society and the world at large because you’re being greedy, or lazy, in not doing anything about it.

You may be self-conscious about your idea, or you think some technology is a few years away so it sounds too futuristic or implausible. In 2007 Airbnb’s idea of letting strangers sleep in your house was pretty out there. Hey, put all of your personal information, and even your current location online so that everyone you know can follow your every move back in 2003 when the idea of Facebook was created, sounded pretty far-fetched.

All ideas, when put on a timeline, sound or sounded ridiculous at one point. That’s ok. At least they can be put on a timeline and don’t just sit in your bloated brain.

I’m going to list some ideas I have and truly hope everyone steals all of them. If they want to give me credit when they make it big (it won’t happen), that’s cool. If not, thanks for making the world a hopefully better place.

Some of them probably have been done before, some might be new, most of them are probably terrible. Whatever the case may be, there was absolutely zero value for them to continue to be in my head.

If one of these ideas sparks something in someone and they run with it, hell yeah. I’m happy.

If not, well, I’m glad I just defragged the idea folder in my brain drive.

Multiple-hat-wearer with a focus on all things Operations. Fan of Remote Work. linkedin.com/in/roryobrien