Forget the idea …
… everything begins with a problem
When innovation is mentioned the word
idea is often also included somewhere. Earl
Nightingale's “Everything begins with an idea.” is even used by
great entrepreneurs to encourage innovation.
The fact that the word idea has more than one meaning
is frequently the cause of misunderstandings.
Any thesaurus search of the word
will suggest a large list of synonyms, which in the context of
innovation refers to two distinct meanings.
The most common meaning of an idea is used to describe a specific
solution, sometimes even accompanied with a premature plan to build
it. Founders with their primary focus on this definition will often
struggle to change direction when objective data invalidates their
Earl's quote probably refers to the other meaning, pointing to an
observation or an experience which triggers a strong belief that
something really should be easier, faster or cheaper. Successful
innovations begin with a clear understanding of the problem.
So instead of pitching or sharing an idea, talk about a problem you
believe deserves a better solution. It may still be the same thing but
the mission will be on solving the problem, not building the