People approach ideas in different ways. To some, they are hamsters you pile in a cage until there's only a single really fat one left. Others see them as bricks and use them to break the windows of people they don't like. However, there is one common denominator: Ideas sure like to have fun. Ideas dance from head to head like it ain't no thing, without a passing thought on whether the one they partied with last night wore a hat or not. As a result, certain types of more ... active ideas tend to end up in pretty much everyone's head at some point. Here are four of the worst offenders.
#4. The 2 a.m. Idea
Let's say you finish the last episode of whatever TV show you've been binge-watching this week, only to notice that once again you're up way, way later than you intended. It's time to catch some sleep, for the sheets are soft and yet to be stained by the terror-sweat from your inevitable mortal combat with the bogeyman.
His terror-sweat, that is. He's had this beatdown coming ever since he returned
your laptop scratched and covered in drool.
And then the idea comes. Maybe you're not quite in bed yet when it happens. Maybe you're already half asleep, gently drifting into the saintly unconsciousness only the truly fatigued and criminally inebriated can experience. But at some point between tiredness and passing out, your brain suddenly goes all SURPRISE, MOTHERFUCKER! HERE'S THE BEST IDEA YOU'VE EVER HAD IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE! At that point, you have two options: Either you give your brain the old yawn-snort-fart-roll over treatment and try to catch the Sleep Express before it leaves the station ... or you grab that bull by the goddamn horns. Who knows? This might be the Big One -- that absurdly great idea that will catapult you from obscurity to Zuckerbergian power and wealth. Better start scribblin', you future rich person, you!
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Or you could just take the third option and do what you always do at that hour.
I'm not telling you to never, ever follow through on those late-night ideas. I'm in no position to do that. I've been known to work at 3 a.m., and at least half of all the major life decisions I've ever made have been influenced by the kind of sleep deprivation that would warrant its own Creepypasta yarn. If anything, I'm a cautionary example. See, there's a fine line between "awesome" and "potentially dangerous awesome," and those late-night ideas our brains give us are dancing a jig along that line, naked, floppy, and pooping all over the place.
The thing is, the human brain is a notorious asshole. One of the many, many, many ways this manifests is its love for getting creative at the worst possible moment, gleefully rubbing irresistible inspiration in our faces when we're as tired as humanly possible. Sometimes we bite: That golden idea about a surefire method of breeding dachshunds into dragons may be enough to keep you up all night, and over time it may even develop into a condition called creative insomnia, which is exactly what it says on the tin. Incidentally, that's not even the worst downside of late-night idea orgies. That would be the fact that they can actually decrease your intelligence, both physically and emotionally.
Yep, all those great 2 a.m. ideas are just a ruse by your brain so it doesn't have to work so damn hard.
#3. The Business Idea
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I'm willing to bet a box full of neuticles that at some point during the last week most people reading this have taken a look at someone doing his job and thought, "I could totally do that better than this guy." Maybe you even came up with a specific way to improve the function in question ("That ice cream van would look a lot less serial killer-y if you replaced all those pictures of clowns with, say, shrunken heads"). If you recognize yourself from this description, congratulations/condolences! You have idly wandered the slippery slope of the mentality that drives people to entrepreneurship.
I'm calling these things "drunken business ideas," not because we always get them when we're shitfaced (although that much is definitely true, at least in my case), but because, much like booze, they're usually gone the next day and replaced by other pressing matters. We may not pay attention to most of them, and plenty of the ones we do notice tend to be total crap ("We should totally start a bar that would serve guysh like ush although we've allreedy had a fffew!"). Even so, these occurrences are common enough that each and every one of us probably hits a few bull's-eyes a year by sheer statistical volume.
So, with all these great ideas zipping in our heads, how is the world full of people whose idea of a good business is peddling turdbuckets like canine butt flaps and blow job lights? Shouldn't pretty much everyone be able to pick a few friends and a suitable idea and, with a little work, form a simple, foolproof business plan?
If it winds up looking anything like this, run like the fucking wind.
I mean, obviously we're not actually going to do that, but the point is that we could if we felt like it. Right?
Let's say we have a business idea, and it's pretty clear that it is the best business idea. What the hell are we going to do next?
Even though some experts think being unorthodox and inexperienced can actually give you an edge when you're starting out (hence all the butt flaps and other lunacy-fueled products out there), wackiness is only going to get you so far. No matter how good your idea and setup, it means precisely jack shit if you don't know what you're doing and have a ton of luck on your side. Basically, this means that as long as we're operating on the idea alone, we're this guy:
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"TROG UNFAMILIAR WITH HIGHER NUANCES OF BUSINESS MODELS."
And unless we're willing to invest countless weeks, months, and quite possibly years in creating contacts, learning the ins and outs of the industry, and doing whatever the hell it is responsible adults do to learn things, the Shrunken Heads I-Scream Company isn't going to plow through the stock market unless we physically drive our van to Wall Street.
On a completely unrelated note, I found this really sweet cattle guard on Etsy.