Making Ideas Happen, Lessons Learned from Capture Mozilla

As I work on the Capture Mozilla project, I personally deal with and try to coach others through making ideas happen. (Dia Bondi has been a coach for me in this area.) It is a fascinating subject that I pay attention to any time I work on a project. Influenced from many differently people, here are 4 lessons I’ve learned about making ideas happen.

  1. Ideas are cheap – Most people generate several new ideas a day. (If you are me, make that twenty.) What matters is the idea you choose to pursue and how you choose to pursue it. It’s important to realize that generating new ideas is not bad, the issue is not knowing when to set the ideas on the back burner.
  2. Narrow your sights – This is something so obvious it is worth talking about. You cannot give an idea the time it needs to be successful if you are constantly jumping on to something else. Pick one thing and do that well… because the alternative is many things poorly.
  3. One bite at a time – How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Break the big idea down into smaller parts that you can work on and build upon. This creates steady progress. If the idea cannot succeed as a minimum viable product, it is not a viable idea.
  4. Learn as you iterate – Learning theory dictates that mistakes are good. They are! What makes them good is to have focused learning around what happened. Be sure to reflect upon lessons learned as you move forward. This helps you feel accomplished when progress is hard to gauge and ensures that no valuable learning is overlooked.

Depending on your place, this may all seem like a no-brainer. But it never hurts to have a refresher as you move from one project to the next. These 4 ideas help me focus on and feel good about making ideas happen.

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