'Open source' your ideas!

This article first appeared in issue 228 of .net magazine – the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.

Ideas. They’re what millionaires, even billionaires, are made of, right? Imagine you could go back in time and tell your 2004-self to build and launch Facebook – you’d be a billionaire now for sure.

Except it doesn’t work like that at all. Ideas are only about one per cent of the recipe. The remaining 99 per cent is hard work, careful planning, flawless execution; with some pure luck thrown in for good measure.

In searching for ideas for a new business last year I found myself coming up with plenty. Workable, useful ideas that could be turned into something people would pay to use. The only problem was that (to quote a self-help phrase) I just wasn’t that into them.

You have to really love your idea. You have to believe in it even when friends tell you it’s terrible, when bank managers and venture capitalists say “I don’t get it” and when you’re trying to convince that first hire to leave their stable, salaried job and work on your crazy scheme for a mix of subsistence wages and equity.

It’s not that you’re deaf to criticism. Often a fresh pair of eyes on your work-in-progress will deliver an insight of lightning-bolt intensity. More that, whatever the doubters may say, you believe that your idea is the right one – the only one – for you. It’s likely that this idea, all being well, will consume the next five to 10 years of your life: you’d better be in love with it.

That wasn’t the case for these. So I decided to ‘open source’ the ideas: putting them on my site as a series of short blog posts. I’m not sufficiently excited by them, so maybe I’m not the right person to take them forward. Besides, there’s not enough hours in the day to do all this stuff. Publish and be damned, I thought.

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Ecommerce Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Editor, Digital Art and 3D Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.