One of the best ideas of all time started with a walk.
In 1948 George de Mestral was on a trip in Switzerland when he went out with his dog for an afternoon outdoor hike.
While out he accidentally brushed up against some cocklebur plants and on getting back discovered his woollen trousers (and his dog’s coat) were covered in scores of round, spiky burr seeds.
He noticed how they contained a series of hooks which attached and held themselves to anything they came in contact with.
An idea took root and quitting his job he set about creating Velcro.
An idea that among other things has gone on to be used in clothing straps, flaps on training shoes, floor mats, diapers, briefcases and suitcases, by NASA on space shuttle’s, and to even hold a human heart together during heart surgery.
It was a simply observed idea that has made over $5billion since it was launched and one that revolutionised the clothing and accessory industry.
Ideas that are simple make big differences.
Ones that are right in front of our eyes every day.
History has proved that the simpler an idea (and thus more easily adopted and used by more people), the greater the success it tends to be.
In 1970 Spencer Silver was working on developing a new strong adhesive for industrial use but couldn’t quite manufacture the desired strength. He held onto the idea and four years later came his, ‘Eureka’ moment.
Another colleague was singing in the church choir but couldn’t keep his page marker in place in his hymn sheet. He decided to use Silver’s invention to help out and noticed how it enabled him to move the markers without damaging the paper or losing it’s adhesive quality.
The Post It Note was born. A small colourful piece of sticky paper that has become an integral part of work, business and office culture the world over. Children today are as familiar with it as they are Coca Cola or Microsoft.
Simple ideas work even if their intended use becomes altered. The idea is still golden, the fine tuning makes it platinum.
What’s your idea?
The best ideas come from everyday people, not industrialists or development teams. Everyday folk who spot an unmet need or simple function those locked in big offices never get to witness. People like you.
They are at the heart of how the planet works, interacts, and connects but also what’s missing or required to make these easier, save time, save money, or improve quality of life. The true inventors are you and me, our eyes, our instincts, and our own lives and what we need to make them smoother.
What does our head in, or we would love to have to help us out, is most likely what everyone else wants too.
So, when an idea pops into your head (what the business world calls ‘a gap in the market’), it is a brilliant one because there are millions of others who would use or benefit from it.
- What could you do with? What would uncomplicate your life? Or your friends? Or people like you i.e. other busy mothers or injury prone exercise junkies? What you do is your clue
- Look for the uba simple. Forget the big invention or the mega product. If you see something so basic that no-one else has, go with it. Most small ideas never develop because they are thought too simple. Simple is what we all want
- Keep you eyes peeled. Like George de Mestral. Would you have seen an idea like he did or moaned at how your clothes are covered in some ridiculous plant? An open mind is a goldmine
- Don’t dismiss anything. Keep a journal and when you are out and about as ideas pop into your mind jot them down. On reflection later one or two may seem highly attractive. It only takes one to work
- They don’t cost the earth. Perception is you need millions to make millions. A simple product or service worth a few dollars/pounds could be what millions of people have long wanted and will happily pay for it. A small amount to start can grow into a large fund in no time. Small ideas can have small budgets but huge implications
- Why you? You may just see yourself as an ordinary guy/gal and nothing special, so why or how can you create the big idea? Well, why not you? Why pay for something that a big corporation has decided you could use or really need? You are on this planet for a reason and that could be to change lives by simply creating something that changes yours. But everyone else decides it can do the same for theirs. One person can come up with one idea for every body
Ideas are No.1
Ideas are what changes lives. They are No.1 in the hit parade of improving life on Earth in some way, vital or otherwise, saving time, money, hassle, space, peace of mind and energy.
Ideas change the world
They are the preserve of every person in any location of any age or circumstance or background.
Millions of people get ideas all the time and never do anything about them. Everyday wonderful possibilities never come magically to life as someone talks themselves out of a simple idea that could sweep the globe. People who think it wouldn’t matter and that they don’t matter.
You matter! And any idea you have matters. It’s meant to!
And the secret is this – the simpler it is the more powerful it will turn out.
Please, for all our sakes, never walk away from an idea that could change your life and everyone else’s.
If you have an idea or spot one make today the day you ‘Post It’ to the world! Don’t delay, get started. NOW is the time.
Your spark starts right here.
Have you had an idea you never developed? Or would you love to but something is stopping you? Or do you love ideas but not had that jackpot one yet? Let me know and let’s get that ball rolling.