elastic ideas

One of the things I love about ideas is that they don’t remain static, they grow, they morph, they develop. Simply by talking to someone new, or a random comment on something you “put out there” your idea can change. But it’s hard to know whether to stick with your original idea or to be more elastic in your thinking. In the startup world, this is what they call pivoting.

The Spark and The Grind

spark and grind book Erik WahlI recently read a book by Eric Wahl called the Spark and the Grind. The spark is the initial idea that kicks things off, the bit that comes easily to creative people. The grind is the graft that comes afterward that turns the idea into something tangible. He talks about two types of people. First, there are the ones that are just obsessed about the idea stage and struggle to do the grind without losing interest and falling in love with a new idea. The positive element of these people, is they are prepared to let their ideas develop into something new if it has more promise. The difficulty this group has is that they have trouble eventually making the decision to stick with one idea (I know it well).

Where I was a little surprised however was I hadn’t considered that grinders also have their issues. He describes these people as intently focussed on their idea and the work it takes to bring it to life. Their problem is that they are so focused on their end objective, they fail to allow the idea to morph into something with more potential.

So in order to take an idea and make it a reality, we need to find a balance between focussing on a goal, while still allowing ourselves to be open to new possibilities.