What do you do when you have a new exciting idea, but can't work on it right away?

David T. Kim
39 replies
I'm sure this happens a lot to many of us. Even though I'm super passionate about what I'm doing right now, as it's our second nature as entrepreneurs, shiny new ideas pop up in the brain too often. I tend to write them down in my "write once and never see it for 6 months" list and forget about it.


Deepa Mani
Also, it would be interesting to see if the existing ideas are present in the market and how companies or people are working on them. It brings a new perspective to our own ideas.
Aaron O'Leary
I normally just write it down as a note, each month I try to go through my notes and decide which have potential and which dont.
David T. Kim
@aaronoleary Going through them brings perspective. When the idea jumps out, it seems so novel, but in reality, it's fairly common and bland. Thanks for your input!
Sudharshan C. Babu
Put it down as a notion doc and structure it properly. Why it excites me, what the problem is, a very rough draft of the solution, and its potential. Reading this after some time puts me in the same frame of mind I was when I got the idea and helps in working on it again. This takes < 3 mins mostly.
Stefan Manku
I agree with your write it down and leave it method. It's good to offload it and get my focus back to what I'm working on. That said, sometimes I'll do a quick bit of research to give me an indication one way or the other on what the opportunity looks like.
David T. Kim
@stefanmanku Yes, sometimes it's just too hard to ignore the possibilities!
Rahul Bura
I have tried a few methods to keep on top of things - from a Book of Ideas where I just jot ideas down, to using Trello to keep track of a pipeline of ideas. I'll keep the Trello board open and add any further details on ideas whenever I review it and sometimes I'd even have invalidated the idea after some more thought. I usually try to focus on just a couple of things but when I refer back to the notebook or Trello, it's usually because I'm on a break from the idea I am working on or am ready for the next idea so the former helps me beef up or invalidate an idea and the latter helps me pick my next more-than-half-baked idea to work on. On trello, I have a List of cards for current projects and a list for ideas so they're always there in my view so I don't forget and I'm subconsciously working on them just because of that. When a project is over, I pick a new idea from the ideas list and create a new list for it.
David T. Kim
@rahul_bura Good for you to keep your mental map tidy with Trello. It's very difficult to keep engaging with them, unless you use that same board everyday.
Dragos Bulugean
Write it down and expand on it as much as possible. After that, I will figure out how important this idea is for my future plans and goals if it makes sense to invest in it and after that, I will decide a time to execute it.
Matt Olevinsky
Hey there! My best practices: 🙏 - icloud >> reminders. Have a special folder for that called "ideas" or "the best ideas ever", you choice. - so good as it'll sync with all my devices (so you can just TYPE IN DOWN on your iPhone and finally STOP tossing and turning in bed 😀 - tomorrow - quick view on the laptop >> move to recycle bin OR move to "think again + make short research" you choice Good luck! (or night) 😀
Nathaniel Blackburn
The best thing you can do is write it down and keep refining it until you are in a position to take action.
Aris Alexis
As I always find that the idea evolves and it's never "best idea ever" at conception time, I write it down and then I add on it. Do I read an article that is relevant? I add this new information. When discussing the idea I write down critiques and new views. I then compare it to other ideas and play some sort of idea championship where the best idea wins that fulfills the criteria of "doable by me now". This process takes a while and although I am very enthusiastic I think you hit the jackpot when you have had it at least a few months in your mind.
Hey, I write down in a notebook initially, and maybe play around with some sketches but I always (since quite recently) add them into a notion template, which I feel makes them official ideas! I got the notion tip from @nonken and use it all of the time now, it's a great app for things like this. If not notion, I would say add the lists to a tool you frequent daily (to-do app, etc..). Keep them in front of mind. Worth checking it out.
David T. Kim
@nonken @bentheredonethat Using a product that we use daily is very crucial and I agree. If I just store it in a doc, I rarely get back to them early.
This question interests me a lot, cause I faced this phenomenon and perhaps everyone is, so I came about with a big book I called I'D Flow or Idea flow where I would define the idea, the problem it could solve, and some simple research. But as time passed by I noticed this trail in almost every entrepreneur so I again got an idea of creating a social forum or network for thinkers where people could easily add, manage and discuss ideas and get co-founders and funding or feedback whether it is viable, i designed the front end of it but never did the back end untill now and the guy I was working on it with just let me down, so what do you think as you brought this up again?
Nitzan Aviram
I moved from an never ending document to trello. Much better, thing get in list, categories, checklists...
Jas Mowgod
I write out the idea in a Google Slide. Add any inspiration or resources. Circle back to it eventually.
David T. Kim
@jasmowgood Hm... Perhaps Google Slide might make me want to come back to that idea earlier than excel. 🤓
Dhruv Bhatia
Write it down and keep thinking of reasons why it won't work. It sounds negative, but if even after a lot of these reasons the idea seems good, you should pursue it. The period before execution (fact-finding / research whatever you want to call it) is extremely important.
Abe Winter
@dhruv_bhatia like this -- it's a smart way to get into 'adversarial thinking' mode and vet / improve the idea
David T. Kim
@dhruv_bhatia Excellent. I'm stealing this method. Personally, I like to use first principles approach and then do a user interview with a closest demographic I could find online & offline.
Akshay Surve
Buy a domain and wait for the domain renewal to show up 😍
Abe Winter
send it to a friend -- either as an email or a comment-able design doc
Marius Schober
If it is really THAT good, you won't forget it
Sanjith Kanagavel
I would do couple of things when a new Idea strikes me. - I have few trusted friends who give honest feedback about the idea, I firstly reach to them. I record the call as well. - If the feedback is good, I draw a mental map of the product using draw.io which also has a short description of idea. - Then I look for alternate products and how crowded the market is. After gathering all these data, I have a spreadsheet which has separate columns like (Name, Priority, Worth to try Rating and all the other details like mental map, recorded call, quick alternative study) Every time I add a new entry, I sort the existing ideas based on Priority and Worth to try rating. So next time if I void out of Idea, I can pick one from them ✌🏻
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