Yeah…cause first impressions are so overrated.
Second impressions are ALWAYS the hardest. Yeah it’s easy to be yourself the first time around and show off some talent, but what if you have to do it a second time or third…or for life? This post is entirely focused at that second impression phenom.
So you have an idea, you’ve worked on that idea, and maybe have already built your prototype. People around you are telling you how awesome your new invention is and that it’s the best thing since sliced bread. These warm-hearted embraces and accolades from your buddies may be as awesome as kittens falling from the sky – your heart shudders a bit and your knees go weak from these cute and cuddly critters falling into your lap. What isn’t coming in…is the greens. Yeah your idea looks good on paper, but what are the next steps…because that second impression (the one to ACTUAL stakeholders) is crucial. The first step…protect your idea from prying eyes.
Log Everything About Your Idea
While you are coming up with a way to build George Jetson’s spacemobile – you should probably take a minute to write all of this stuff down. If you are like me (the artistic type) your brain is in about 400 different directions. Your mind captures all of the information down in a mental note and then it stays there and eats your brains. After a while though – those ideas stop being so hungry because you have work, family, school, parties… What you NEED to do 100% is to write your ideas down! Get a notebook (no not those loose leaf notebooks or even the ones with the perforated edges) and start writing that stuff down. I actually recommend that you either go to Wal-Mart or Target and buy a “Composition Notebook” or if you are a little more trendy and wear those hipster jeans, skate on over to Barnes and Nobles or some trendy bookstore in your area and grab a Moleskin notebook. Not gonna lie – probably the best notebook ever.
Alright well you have your idea…you have a book…I shouldn’t have to say this but did you grab a pen right? Alright…Alright…I’ll wait…
So what do you need to write down? Well I’ll tell you…and it’s not all writing mind you. Be as detailed as possible.
- What is your idea?
- How did you come about thinking up this grand idea?
- What does it do?
- What does it look like? (This is that writing/non-writing part)
- Does it help to solve anything? (Process, design, etc.)
- Draw a picture…
When you draw the picture, people get so wrapped around the axle with statements like – “I can’t draw” or “Are you serious…I know what it looks like!”. Seriously all you really need to do is draw a line/pen drawing of it. Even a rough sketch that proves what it conceptually looks like. If you can’t connect lines or know how to draw a box – try finding someone at a local college looking to do some extra work or something for a college project. Could be free…could be really cheap.
Having this notebook and keeping it updated is your new-found purpose in life. Your idea is now the boss of every pen stroke. Log everything. Updates to your idea, conversations with people about your idea, and anything else you can think of. I would suggest to stop eating those chicken nuggets with that ketchup dripping off of them around this notebook. Keep it clean, keep it professional. It could come in handy not only as a log of everything “idea” related, but it could come in handy as a legal document if your neighbor has been using his binoculars – stealing your ideas.