I have spent the last two weeks brainstorming and discussing my ideas with friends and random strangers. When you try to explain your idea to someone, you usually get one of three reactions:
If someone is genuinely WOW’d by your idea, you might be on to something. You need to make sure it isn’t a superficial “I’ll stroke your ego, my friend” type of wow and you need to make sure that what they are hearing is really what you are trying to say. If you cover both of those bases, you should look further into this idea. Wow! is good.
Oh, no, no…
This is probably bad news. They don’t like your idea. Why? Are you explaining yourself well? Have you not thought things through enough? Does this person have a bias or some kind of general dislike for your subject area? Perhaps your idea just isn’t a good one, but understand why this person does not like it and weigh it against other opinions and further research. Accept criticism, but don’t be afraid to reject opinion.
Huh? I don’t get it.
Assuming you are talking to a reasonably intelligent human being, either you have not been thorough enough in developing your mental first idea draft or there is a disconnect between your brain and your mouth and you just aren’t communicating well. A person who doesn’t “get it” is one of the best people to work through your idea with. They can point out holes in your concept, get you to clarify your thoughts, and at least make sure your general idea makes at least a little bit of sense. Keep working on it.
I’ve also reached out to several trusted friends and asked them to join my personal advisory board. I have a very smart and supportive group of cronies who graciously have accepted, I just hope they know what they are getting in to! I plan to do a monthly email/newsletter to share my progress, ask questions, and solicit feedback.