Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas.– Howard Aiken
If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to
ram them down people’s throats.
I once came up with 21 ideas on how a restaurant on campus could improve their business, bring more people in, make them stay, buy more food.
I visited maybe three times before I could have the manager listen to what I had to say. And when he did, I had only 15 minutes to race through my 21 suggestions as his countenance changed from skeptical to something more attentive.
I didn’t want money, I told him. I didn’t want food, too (never mind my growling belly). I was happy he had listened, that I could share what I had, that maybe he or management could use it to help the business. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. I was sad when they closed up shop.
Some weeks out of school, I got my first job at another restaurant. And I got the job because I wrote a letter to the owner telling her about some ways she could improve the business. The funny thing, I didn’t want that job, but when I finally got an appointment to discuss, she asked if I didn’t want an opportunity to try out those same ideas.
I like ideas, new ways of thinking about how we live, what we do, how we do what we do.
“Ideas rule the world,” we used to say in school. The statement made my ego swell. I, of course, the ideas man had a special place in the world. But now I know reality isn’t just about ideas; execution or let me say it better, work, is also important. Some say more important.
But I also know sometimes it takes an idea to rise above a rut. So, I’m back to sharing ideas again, with a slightly refined perspective.
My intention is to share ideas you can take up and execute fully as your own, or as seeds for better or more practical ones, or as a component mixed with another idea for you to execute.
My joy will be to have these ideas come to life, and help us all live better wherever they take root, or take flight.
I will share one idea here every week. Let’s see the good places they will take us.