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Killing bad ideas.

29. August 2013

Michael Laussegger

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Many successfully implemented ideas often, in hindsight, appear either as the creation of a genius or as sheer coincidence – with a clear inclination towards the latter. Just take the examples of Google Search, ChatGPT or Penicillin. But is that really the way it happens?

For some, this is reason enough to pour a lot of energy into idea generation, because relying on chance isn't a dependable strategy. The truth is, however, each of us generates a myriad of ideas every day. It starts with something as simple as "Having some coffee would be fantastic," evolves through countless professional brainwaves, and typically ends with "Time to hit the sack."

Is it genuinely the groundbreaking ideas that pave the way for success? Or could it perhaps be more about ceaselessly experimenting with possibilities and consistently discarding beloved notions?

I support the second view. Let's start with the customer. Let's work together to come up with ideas, try them out, improve them, and even throw them away if needed. There's nothing worse than sticking to an idea and making a perfect product that no one wants.

To echo the words of Peter Drucker: "First do the right things, and then do things right."

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