When is an idea an idea?

Posted on July 7, 2011

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What is an idea? Is it a thought? A what if? Or does it have to be a strong deliverable proposition? The definition of an idea is a thought or suggestion, but that doesn’t seem to do justice to the word idea, a word that is just full of brilliance.

I’ve an idea. What if someone were to get rid of the News of the World? It’s just an idea, or is it just a thought. I mean, could you imagine it! Really! Surely, that’s just a thought. That’s not big enough to be an idea. And it’s not. In itself it is just a thought. A good idea needs to be much more robust.

A good idea needs a single-minded thought, and it also needs to result in exceptional benefits – either explicit or implicit. Look at JFK’s idea to put a man on the moon. “We choose to go there not because it is easy, but because it is hard” he said. And in that line lies the actual idea – by pursuing the thought that we could put a man on the moon we can explore all sorts of technologies that will have beneficial effects for the USA – it’ll attract the greatest science brains; it’ll inspire the nation; we’ll make technological discoveries that will benefit us for years to come. What a great idea.

What about this as an idea? Let’s close the News of the World. We could then extend The Sun into a seven day publication; we could also just continue to publish all the stories we currently push out through the News of the World through our online edition and all we would need to do is change the masthead to read thesunonsunday. All we would need to do is register that domain name (hey, that’s lucky, someone has.) oh and then we’ll have appeased the politicians and we’ll get our hands on that broadcasting company we’re after. Not only that, the news international organisation could then sell news services back to that broadcasting company after we’ve been forced to sell off it’s original news channels to ensure impartiality.

Now that’s an idea: it’s a stinking one, but it’s an idea because it’s tangible, realistic, will shake things up and it has a plan.

Anyone can have a thought, but an idea has a strategy sat behind it. It has lifeblood and it’s something you can see living. There are bad ideas and there are good ideas. Unfortunately there are also good bad ideas, and that’s when we turn to morals and values.

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