Categories
innovation

Half Ideas

A half idea is sometimes better than a full one.

For many years I’ve been saying that I have half ideas. Not a full-idea or a partial thought but just half an idea. I use this expression to put ideas out into the world. I give myself permission to express ideas in their earliest stages. Ideas start out fragile, and vulnerable and this is when they are most impacted by feedback, criticism, and iteration.

Half ideas are also the most valuable because many people don’t bother to talk about them. Innovative ideas sound crazy and complete ideas seem obvious. You need the freedom to say the outlandish if you want to be innovative.

“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”

Albert Einstein

Ideas need space to breathe and even the ideas that sound absurd should be explored. I think it’s better to get ideas out in the open and to get the input and feedback rather than stay silent and let the idea stay a thought. By saying things out loud, even with half an idea, I’m giving myself the freedom to put things out there that are still in rough form.

Many companies and organizations punish new ideas, they further create corporate incentives to keep the status quo and not challenge dogma. That may be ok for some but it shouldn’t be ok for anyone trying to innovate.

“Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Steve Jobs

I’m starting this blog/ video series to put my half-ideas out into the world and explore thoughts on technology, design, product, and innovation. The only thing I ask is that you help flesh out my half-ideas with your own.

Please consider subscribing via Email or YouTube

Categories
startups

once more unto the breach

Back in 2003, I started my business at a small table at a Starbucks. I didn’t know what it would be, but that journey led to an amazing adventure as I built a team, a scalable business, and a broad set of customers. We ended up growing a successful mobile business with a fantastic team, amazing clients and hundreds of millions of downloads.

After a decade running that business, I sold the business and am stepping away to both reflect and to go back to where it all began. Coffee in hand, I’m starting on a new journey. Once again, I’m uncertain where it will lead. The lessons I’ve learned from my first company are broad but the key point for me is starting with a purpose and vision.

My purpose is to have a positive impact and to inspire others to create products, invent technologies and produce content that in-turn also produces a positive impact.

I start this journey with the letter that I ended the last one.

Nov 12th, 2019

Thank you.

I started back in 2003 in a coffee shop building software and technology and it’s amazing to see what we’ve been able to accomplish. It’s truly amazing. Our work has touched millions and perhaps billions and we’ve truly built technology, tools, solutions, and friendships that will last a lifetime. As I close this chapter and start the next one, I wanted to leave you with a few tenets that have served me well and I hope they help you on your journey.

Strive for wow.
From the projects we take on – to the people we hire – to the expectations we have from ourselves. When you strive for Wow, you’ll set yourself apart from everyone else and achieve something that’s truly inspiring.

Encourage half ideas.
Ideas are the most vulnerable when they are in their infancy. Create an environment where people feel safe to say those ideas out-loud and let them take shape.

Work-life balance
You end up spending a lot of time at work so it’s important that you really care about the people you work with. Build friendships, vulnerability, and trust and it’ll help you find more of the happiness and the balance you’re looking for.

Ask questions that people can say YES to
All too often we ask nuanced questions of our teams, clients and co-workers. When we ask questions that can be answered YES, we create momentum. Not every question gets a YES, but you’ll find you’re more likely to get a “Yes and…” in return.

And lastly… Be bold, have fun, celebrate the wins, and build things that don’t suck!

Love, Greg Raiz