5 Ways To Tell If Your Idea Is Terrible

On any given day, I have a handful of ideas that I believe to be brilliant. Once I follow through with them however, 9 out of 10 times they turn out to be horrendously awful. Thankfully, I have learned my lesson and now take a series of measures to guarantee the strength of an idea.

For social media artists, the process of releasing your product is as quick as clicking a button. There is no time to reconsider an idea while it is being published or edited. YouTube videos, tweets and posts are instantaneously circulated, leaving no time for second thoughts. That is why knowing the brilliance of your idea is paramount. Below are 5 things you should consider about your idea.


1. Has your idea been done a million times?

When I used to work as a software designer, my clients would always say to me, “I want this site to be the next Facebook,” or “I want this game to be the next Angry Birds.” The problem with that is, Facebook and Angry Birds already exist, they are the best because they are original. If you want to make visual FX videos on YouTube, make sure that they will be innovative and not CorridorDigital clones.


2. Have you told anyone about your idea?

If you are so unsure of your idea that you are embarrassed to tell anyone, chances are it isn’t a great idea. A groundbreaking idea needs to be heard and critiqued by people you trust. I once had an idea to make oatmeal with tea instead of milk, after telling some friends, they all told me it was on the worst idea I have ever had. Saying ‘to hell with you guys,’ I went ahead and made the doomed breakfast abomination. It turns out it was an unspeakably bad idea; I should have listened to my friends.


3. Did you think of your idea just now?

Just because an idea comes to you while you are jogging or washing the dishes, it does not mean you that you have to drop what you are doing and make it happen. Most people agree, that your mind can fully comprehend an idea, after it has sat in your subconscious for a day. If I reacted instantly on every thought I had, I would be long dead by now.

4. Is your idea insanely offensive?

Unless you are in the business of making people mad, this is a big one. What may seem completely harmless to you, may be distasteful to someone else. The Internet is a big place full of people who can, and will be offended by just about anything. I am not saying you need to have kid gloves on when you make content, just stay away from moral grey areas.


5. Is your idea terrible?

If at first you think you have the greatest idea ever conceived, but later down the road it doesn’t seem as great, do not keep trying to justify it. I imagine that is how Chris Brown composes most of his tweets. The moment you begin explaining the validity of your idea to yourself, you need to let it go. You are asking for trouble if you start building on shaky ground.

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