Random rules for ideas worth spreading

February 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment

seth godin’s Random rules for ideas worth spreading

If you’ve got an idea worth spreading, I hope you’ll consider this random assortment of rules. Like all rules, some are made to be broken, but still…

  • You can name your idea anything you like, but a google-friendly name is always better than one that isn’t.
  • Don’t plan on appearing on a reality show as the best way to launch your idea.
  • Waiting for inspiration is another way of saying that you’re stalling. You don’t wait for inspiration, you command it to appear.
  • Don’t poll your friends. It’s your art, not an election.
  • Never pay a non-lawyer who promises to get you a patent.
  • Avoid powerful people. Great ideas aren’t anointed, they spread through a groundswell of support.
  • Spamming strangers doesn’t work. Spamming friends doesn’t work so well either, but it’s certainly better than spamming strangers.
  • The hard part is finishing, so enjoy the starting part.
  • Powerful organizations adore the status quo, so expect no help from them if your idea challenges the very thing they adore.
  • Figure out how long your idea will take to spread, and multiply by 4.
  • Be prepared for the Dip.
  • Seek out apostles, not partners. People who benefit from spreading your idea, not people who need to own it.
  • Keep your overhead low and don’t quit your day job until your idea can absorb your time.
  • Think big. Bigger than that.
  • Are you a serial idea-starting person? If so, what can you change to end that cycle? The goal is to be an idea-shipping person.
  • Try not to confuse confidence with delusion.
  • Prefer dry, useful but dull ideas to consumer-friendly ‘I would buy that’ sort of things. A lot less competition and a lot more upside in the long run.
  • Pick a budget. Pick a ship date. Honor both. Don’t ignore either. No slippage, no overruns.
  • Surround yourself with encouraging voices and incisive critics. It’s okay if they’re not the same people. Ignore both camps on occasion.
  • Be grateful.
  • Rise up to the opportunity, and do the idea justice.
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