Ideas – When to Share, When to Shut Up

If you’re in the business of breathing life into ideas, you’ve probably spent time thinking about when to share them, and when to keep them quiet.

One side of the spectrum clings tight to a paranoia that by putting ideas out there they will be stolen, counterfeited or bastardised.

The side not governed by fear realises that by unleashing ideas you get vital feedback, and some kind of sense of whether your ideas have legs or not.

When it comes to dealing with ideas, the key is to occupy an expansive rather than a contracting state. Give them space to breathe and room to roam.

On the other hand, don’t let the air out of the balloon too soon. When an idea exists only in your mind there’s something almost holy about it. Once you release an idea it’s not really your anymore. Not fully, Not in the same way. Sometimes releasing an idea prematurely can cut short its developmental process. It will come into the world misshapen, impure, not quite comfortable in its own skin.

At their essence, ideas are energy. They can’t really be created or destroyed, just transferred. It’s an arrogant mind that assumes it’s given birth to something unique – something that did not exist before. It’s that same arrogance that, if it takes hold, can lead you to fortify or corral an idea.

When you share your ideas you breathe life into them because you get feedback, and test them out in the world. But they need to be ready to fly before you push them out of the nest.

Ideas are raw, growing, changing.

I.P. is chiselled, fixed, commodified.

And the best way to grow a spark of an idea to a polished slab of I.P. is to know when to share and when to shut up.

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