Get Your Idea Out There

Today I stumbled-up an interview between Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin.

It’s from 2006, but still highly relevant. One of the questions that really stood out was this:

Kawasaki: What are the five things that enabled you to be successful?

Godin: If we define success as the ability to make a living doing what I do, I’d say the following:

1. No ulterior motive. I rarely do A as a calculated tactic to get B. I do A because I believe in A, or it excites me or it’s the right thing to do. That’s it. No secret agendas.

2. I don’t think my audience owes me anything. It’s always their turn.

3. I’m in a hurry to make mistakes and get feedback and get that next idea out there. I’m not in a hurry, at all, to finish the “bigger” project, to get to the finish line.

4. I do things where I actually think I’m right, as opposed to where I think succeeding will make me successful. When you think you’re right, it’s more fun and your passion shows through.

5. I’ve tried to pare down my day so that the stuff I actually do is pretty well leveraged. That, and I show up. Showing up is underrated.

All extremely good points, and sage advice to live by. I highlighted the one point I wanted to delve into further (number 4 is worth reading again too).

Many people are involved with in-depth case studies, tests, careful planning and creating a “perfect” implementation from beginning to end for each marketing initiative they implement. Now, I’m all for planning and being prepared, but there is a problem with taking too long to execute an original and creative idea in an information economy, where so many people are putting out so much so quickly.

Perhaps Seth is right, a better strategy is simply to get your big idea out there first, ahead of the competition and be the trendsetter, the one everyone else is later compared to.

Instead of always trying to see things through to the end before you’ve even started, getting something you know is incredibly catchy out there, then perfecting it as you go through the process is a smart strategy. This is especially true on the web, as each startup, Web site, and service is constantly undergoing improvements, updates and additions. If you wait too long to launch it, someone else may preempt your idea and you’ll be wishing you were the first.

You never know what opportunities will arise once you’ve put a good idea out there, especially once it starts to catch on and is shared organically through the web. You may even get some original ideas on how to proceed from the very people you were reaching out to.

If you have a good idea that you just know will work and be successful, hopefully the organization you are with trusts your judgment and gives you the freedom to execute it quickly and decisively. Social media moves lightning fast, and you may only get a small window for success. If you know something will work, be positive and generate good buzz for your company, a product, or a client, take the initiative and do it.