The Blessing and Curse of Creativity and Vision
– I don’t care if testing ideas affects my credibility. I’m not gonna stick to something just because it makes me look good or so everyone thinks I can stick to something – when I clearly have had the capacity of execution and focus before – several times, in fact.
Through practicing the agile methodology, you can test which ideas work and discard those that don’t. I want to encourage all readers to be fearless of risking your credibility – and TEST, TEST, AND TEST!
It’s a great learning experience, a great process for self-discovery, and you won’t know if that is it – unless you try. Remember: some products and ideas that look good on paper are not good in practice.
Have your values and failure/success metrics set before you begin. For example, my gold standards are:
1. I have integrity. I don’t like to sell BS. I only sell stuff that actually works. I’m a product person – the product needs to be legit.
2. I don’t like to sell generics. Each product is special and each needs to have that “je ne sais quoi”
3. Stick to a wide “theme” – with a common thread/interest. eg. the common thread between all my ideas are: consumer goods, wellness, and lifestyle. My background, education, and work experience has revolved around human-centered design and consumer goods. Through those experiences, I have developed the finesse to identify white spaces in that market.
I encourage creative & divergent thinkers to strategize on how you can maximize your power.
The reality is that our brains are wired to “churn” ideas. I’m an advocate for neurodiversity – where our work should be dictated by our strengths and by how our brains are wired so we can maximize output efficiently. For example, the ideal work situations for me are: 1) To work at a product lab: where I can lead R&D Strategy: research and develop ideas, design the concepts, and create the product vision and work with Execution and Marketing officers. 2) Sell “Packaged Ideas” as a consultant that include: the research and stats to back it up on why it’s a good idea, include a fully designed product vision/concept (name, branding, mission, etc) ready for execution and launch. 3) Develop an idea that is broad enough to fit all the smaller ones and build a product pipeline calendar.
I’ve experience backlash from friends who have ventured out in full transparency about how they feel about my “inability to stick to one idea and execute.” I am thankful to those who have the ability to be open with me and I am not upset about that (FYI). In fact, it gives the opportunity to explain myself and that is why I’m writing this post.
I practice agile methodology – where I develop and test ideas quickly. Unlike other people that have ideas: I actually do execute them. Testing many ideas comes at the risk of losing credibility because from the outside it doesn’t seem intentional, but rather “scattered brained.”
However, what seems scattered – is anything but. I’ve been an entrepreneur and was with my last startup for 6 years. I know the work it takes to develop one concept. Therefore, before committing the next decade of my life to an untested idea – I rather risk my credibility. And since I have a lot of ideas – I need to do more testing.
I have researched, developed, conceptualized, and launched to market over 50 ideas and products. I have recovered my investment in all of them, learned about the industry/space, and have a waitlist of fans for each. And for one reason or another (eg. legality, unreliable effects, supply chain, etc), I have decided not to continue.
I am blessed with a very creative mind – where my brain is basically “on fire” almost 70% of the day. I have “diarrhea of ideas” – which many, turns out are VERY F*%$KING GOOD.
I don’t have human babies, my legacy on earth are my ideas. I decided to share some of my ideas publicly under the White Space category in this blog where I will be posting more- after following the advice from my Social Media Management professor at MIT – when we both realized I would not be able to do them all. It’s impossible for me to execute every single one of them.
My ideas rise from my constant curiosity, growth mindset, high risk tolerance, and disciplined rigorous development process and research into trends, industry, users, ingredients, technologies, and the market – married with my experience, intuition, creativity, and brainstorming sessions with other divergent minds. A friend described me perfectly: “Laura, is always researching.”
Photo Credits: Refinery29