The world is not short of ideas.
It’s estimated we each have between 40,000 and 70,000 thoughts a day – and it only takes a few of those to translate into things, or muster themselves into actual ideas, for there to be billions of ideas around the world every 24 hours.
How then, with your one-off toy idea, are you ever going to make it?
A long, long time ago, in a studio far, far away (well – Suffolk), I learnt that to get any one idea away, you need to support it with a legion of others… This legion is there for a variety of reasons.
First, to bolster your desperate need for creative credibility, and to sanity-check the others. Second, for sacrifice, as you flip the A2 portfolio (I did say a long, long time ago) only to be met with the glistening blade of a quick “No!” But most of all, to take your focus away from any single one of them.
As the general, you need to support your legion. That means you look out for, and nurture, the best. You put them through a rigorous assessment and you care for them, but be careful not to love them, as any could fall in battle.
As a leader of your ideas, it’s up to you treat them with respect, but you must learn to develop a professional relationship with them.
Ideas are often snapping at your mind, needing attention, and before you know it you’re often spending vast amounts of time and money on them. They keep you up all night; they become jealous of competing ideas, and defensive if anyone dares say a negative word against them…
To stand the best chance of getting any idea to market, it’s best to adopt a professional attitude and learn how to manage the ideas you create.
I often feel that my ideas are like stray dogs who really want a permanent home. I find them wandering in my mind, but even while I look after and care for them, I know that the purpose is to set them free – not to adopt them for myself.
There are opportunities today, however, that mean adopting some of the ideas does make sense, so getting to market through direct to consumer channels can be appealing. But the same rules apply, and too often ideas are put through Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms when really they should have been kept in the portfolio.
Always put yourself on the other side of the table… How would other people talk about your idea? What are best and the worst parts of it? It’s never an easy process, but there are methodologies out there to help you.
Idea management is just as important as idea creation, whether that be in toys, tech or any other industry.
The two support each other and should lead to more success, across more projects, by helping you make the right decisions at the right time.
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