An approach to achieving something big

I have lots of ideas for products, both for digital and physical products. A lot of people I know are like this. Under the right conditions ideas just flow. For some people it happens in the shower. For others it's on a run. Regardless where it happens, what you do with those ideas are what matter.

Last week I had an idea.**

On of the first pieces of feedback I heard was:

That's too small an idea. You should think bigger!

Thinking big is great, and for years that's what I tried to do. But I have a secret to tell you.

Thinking big has never gotten me anywhere.

I've actually never experienced "thinging big" as a thing that actually helped me get anywhere. Don't get me wrong, I've heard it get people places, I've just never seen it get anyone anywhere first hand.

Goals are great, right? Absolutely! As long as they are realistic that is. If my goal is to be President of the United States, well, that just not realistic. Maybe a good idea but not something I can make happen.

So with this idea, I'm taking a different approach (than I normally would take at least).

I'm starting small and "thinking little".

I'm asking myself questions like:

  • What's the simplest version of this idea?
  • What's the smallest incarnation of this idea that can be successful?
  • Will this little idea for a product/service work? step onto the elevator... baby step into the elevator... I'm in the elevator. -Bob

If I can start to answer some of these questions and execute well, then it's time to think a little bigger and ask myself how what I've learned can translate into something bigger.

I'm learning successful big ideas comes from a well excecuted series of little ideas. It's not that I don't have big asperations. It's not that I can't see my little idea turn into something big. It is the case that I see my little idea having a better chance of seeing the day of light if I keep it little and realistic.

If I set a goal for myself to take my kids to the read a book to my kids every night. That is something meaningful. That is something worth working towards. That is something small that can go a long way. Thinking little to achieve something big.

Whats the smallest idea you can think of that you can execute will in a realistic time frame thats worth your while?

** And almost no idea is truly original. Ideas do not form in a vacuum. Rather, ideas are born from a magical place where experience meets creativity. Most ideas are born from a connection that is made that connects things that exist in a new and interesting way some times with new and interesting constraints. This idea came and was advanced by discussions with several people.