Keep it Simple
I'm a dad of two kids. They are both very young and not in school yet. Explaining difficult concepts like sharing and selfishness can feel impossible. It forces me to think of the simplest words that break down the complex idea. I think about the exact words I need to use to get my point across before I say them.
Sometimes we view simple things as negative. The simpler the toy my kids play with, the more their mind expands and grows. The simpler I speak to them, the easier it is for them to understand.
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”― Steve Jobs
Clean thinking—now that's a hard concept. Sometimes we need to get ideas on paper, out of our mind. But rarely is the first draft the complete idea. We need to nurture ideas. We need to water them and watch them grow into concepts and full thoughts.
Ideas need many inputs
Ideas must have diversity of thought and experience. Ideas need to be shared. They need other people to exist. Our assumptions need to be challenged, especially when they are our own.
Not all feedback is actionable. We need to categorize that feedback so that we can use it as a tool for our process. I've found that mind-mapping is a valuable tool for getting everything out of your head and on paper. If I could imagine what creative vomit looks like, a mind map would be close.
Less is more
A mind map is a place to start chopping. The more I can move things aside, for now, the better chance we have of reaching a smallest actionable step. Once I've cut away all the fat, the idea needs action. Starting a feedback loop can seem overwhelming at first. An email signup. A landing page describing your product. Putting your idea into the world starts a process that helps you find the people interested in your idea. I've found that if I keep coming back to the same idea time and time again, it must need action from me. I'll push that idea forward. I'll kick the tires on the feedback loop. I'll bring it to a trusted advisor and see what they think. It's important to categorize the feedback you get into 4 categories:
Using these categories helps you map out what's behind you and what's ahead. Sifting through negative and positive feedback helps determine the experience. Corrective and affirming feedback help shape the future of the idea.
We'll be gathering and categorizing your feedback on Business Day Camp. What has helped you from the journal so far? Have you taken anything and put it into practice? Leave a comment and let me know.
Posted in: Ideas Steve Jobs