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Armchair philosopher

Climbing up the idea pyramid

For ideas to work, they need to be worked with

"If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal, you have a wish."
—Steve Maraboli

In his book Pragmatic Thinking And Learning, Andy Hunt introduces the idea of the Idea Pyramid—a simple visual model that represents how different people will react when inspired with a great ideas.

Everyone has had at least one great idea in their life. But for most people, having the idea is as far as it goes. They have an idea. They do nothing. The idea passes. These people make up the largest portion of the pyramid, the base: Those who have great ideas.

Some people keep track of their ideas. They're more curious about them. They note them down. They mull them over. They might even talk about them with friends. But that's as far as it goes for them. Again, the idea is lost - or it sits on a proverbial shelf forever. These people make up the next layer of the pyramid: Those who track their great ideas.

A much smaller chunk of the population will have the courage to try and bring their ideas to life. They'll talk to people who could help. They invest some of their time and often their money. They'll do what they think is required to launch their idea. But it won't be enough. Something will be missing. Some key element that was required, that just wasn't there. These people make up the next layer of the pyramid: Those who try their ideas out.

At the very top of the pyramid are a special few people: Those who can pull it off. These are the people who know how to get results. They have ideas. They note them down. They develop them. They attempt them. They speak to the right people. They ask the right questions. They constantly re-evaulate their position and use helpful feedback from others to improve their idea until it's a success.

The take-home message from the Idea Pyramid is this: Everyone on the top of the pyramid had to go through the other levels in order to get to the top. Every successful inventor, author, entrepreneur, film maker, etc. has not only had a great idea, they had the curiousity to explore and develop their idea, the courage to try and bring it to life, and the skill and perseverence to actually pull it off.

Success isn't something that's reserved for other people—it's available to everyone who's capable of having an idea. It just takes a bit of work...

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