Idea dating. Shiny Objects Syndrome.
Few people succeed by bouncing around from cool idea to cool idea. If you’re an inventor like me, you have a couple “great” ideas a day. Cool ideas have a life span; some live longer than others. A successful business is based on a cool idea to which you dedicate your energies, committing your time and talent to develop and nurture it. It takes extended focus. That is contradictory to the nature of the guy who thinks up a dozen cool ideas a month, each having some degree of limited focus. It’s tough; many inventors love the creation more than the execution.
It’s not unlike the person who dates a lot of people looking for that “special” person. When I was single man, I dated a lot of women and evaluated each relationship carefully. Some lasted a night, some lasted a week, and some might last a month. My evaluation process was quite rigid, basically looking for all the reasons it wouldn’t work out. It was an exhausting process, and I thought it might never end.
It did. I finally met a woman who had me checking all the boxes rather quickly. I even created new boxes, trying to find a flaw. I didn’t. My evaluation process worked well; we’ve been together for 35 years.
The process of determining which idea to pursue should follow the same pattern: Meet (think up), Evaluate (market size, the Three Critical Questions, and the Three Proof of Concept Elements), and Decide. For inventors, thinking up is easy, evaluation takes customer investigation and honest research, deciding takes confidence, passion, and the ability to commit to doing what it takes.