The View From 32


SEPTEMBER 18, 2007   More below: IDEAS

On the beach

Sand and blue water at Edgewater BeachIt was a gorgeous late summer day. The breeze was cool, the sun warm. When I first pulled into the Edgewater parking lot around 11 a.m. the beach was populated exclusively by seagulls and Canadian geese. They had reclaimed their territory from the groups of people who'd been there a few weeks ago. But soon a couple of diehard sun-worshippers showed up, forcing the geese to retreat into the lake and the gulls to move en masse further down the beach.

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Good ideas don't mean squat

As I ran (ok, jogged) in the sunshine today ideas were running around in my head as well. At one point I realized that what I needed was a tiny iPod Shuffle-sized audio recorder that I could clip to my t-shirt so I could record these brilliant thoughts. Hell, even the idea for a tiny audio recorder for runners was brilliant! I can see it in the Sharper Image catalog now.

Last week while I was running I thought, let's make the hot new activity of Competitive design (see Cut & Paste) into an international organization, IDC: the International Design Championship. We'd need a logo like the NBA, MLB and of course MLE (National Basketball Assn., Major League Baseball, and Major League Eating).

So of course we'd make designing the logo a competition in itself. To make it more interesting, I'd pay some online logo mill like LogoLoft a hundred bucks or so and then see if our designers could do better. And we could have students in design programs all around the country take part in local, then state, then national competitions. What a concept!

And there were more ideas.

Then too, I'm sure you've had the experience of finishing an article in a magazine, a book, or a movie and thinking "Dang! I've got better ideas than that! How come he/she is famous and I'm not? The world's not fair!"

OK, the world isn't fair, but that's probably not why they're famous and you & I are not. The difference, I realized as I enjoyed the sunshine, is that some people act on their ideas while most of us stop with the idea. This website is one of the few ideas I actually have acted on, and while it's never going to make me famous, it does give me a feeling of putting something out into the world that's pretty satisfying. I'd like to do more.

Here's what I propose:

Each of us should take just one of our brilliant ideas and do something with it. We could:

We won't all become famous (but maybe someone will). We will share our brilliance with others instead of keeping it cooped up inside. As hokey as this sounds, the world will be a better place for it.

What idea(s) do you want to share?

Start now: click Comments below and talk about your idea.

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