The Secret to Great Ideas is Having Lots of Them

In Hollywood, I see way too many people obsessing over their “one big idea.”  I’ve actually seen writers and producers spend (or waste) most of their career pitching the one fabulous idea they believe will be the greatest movie ever made.  Commitment to your ideas is important.  But if you spend much time with truly creative people, you’ll discover that they live in a world of multiple ideas.  They spend the day trying everything, and bouncing things off the wall to see if anything sticks.  If you want really great ideas – then start having more of them.  In my experience, I’ve discovered that out of 100 ideas:

— 10 are totally stupid (you have to have those)

      — 50 sounded good, but won’t really work

      — 30 will maybe work in some other way

      —  5 were ideas I REALLY liked for awhile, but then got old

      —  3 are quite good, but not ready for prime time

      —  2 I’d actually be proud to pitch

Don’t be afraid to toss ideas out and start over.  Watch the creative teams at advertising agencies, production companies, or TV networks, and you’ll see that great ideas come out of having many ideas.  Stop thinking “moment of brilliance” and start thinking “research & development.”

Now, go think up some creative ideas….(lots of them).

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Great list there and very true. As an artist I have about that many ideas floating around in my head, the list gets added to every day. Not everything works when you actually try it.

  • Just got out of a creative meeting with several minsters grouping together to do a series at our college ministry on campus. 6 months of ideas thrown out there for 3 week series.

  • Paul A Rose Jr

    Dang, I’m still about 30 short… Maybe I’ve only missed the stupid ones??