Idea inertia

There’s a funny thing about ideas no one talks about. An idea at rest, tends to stay at rest. The longer it stays sitting, the less likely it ever it to come to fruition.

As you stare at your queue, cherry-picking the lowest hanging fruit, consider an alternative strategy; ruthlessly push forward on ideas you have faith in. Even getting the smallest next action step done each day.

For example, last summer living with my cofounders, my role as designer / CEO had become that of a single mom. I worked two jobs and then came home to cook and clean for the team. It wasn’t bad work by any means, but thinking of my hourly wage, it was for sure not as good of a use of my time as talking to customers. It would have taken maybe an hour and $500 to implement this idea and measure results for a week long experiment. Instead, I let the “startup babysitter” thought slip through to the ether. Now when I have the resolve to do it, I don’t have the need anymore.

Learning from that small mistake, I keep a list of my ideas and every day choose which to work on not by which can be most easily accomplished, but rather what has the highest impact or running them through the regret minimization framework.

The time value of ideas is too precious to waste, don’t squander them.

P.S. If anyone wants to run the “startup babysitter” experiment, I’d love to hear how it works out. Bonus points if you can find an Indian grandma to make you daily startup naan-ergy.