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How we find inspiration

Seth Godin has an interesting take on two methods of finding inspiration, passive and active:

One approach to innovation and brainstorming is to wait for the muse to appear.

The other is to seek it out, will it to appear, train it to arrive on time and on command.

The second method challenges the fear and announces that you’ve abandoned the resistance and instead prepared to ship. Your first idea might not be good, or even your second or your tenth, but once you dedicate yourself to this cycle, yes, in fact, you will ship and make a difference.

This is the first and only time I’ve ever disagreed with Seth Godin. I feel like I’m committing a blasphemy 🙂

Ideas and inspiration are all around us. In fact, we’re way overloaded with both. The process of brainstorming isn’t about coming up with an idea, it’s about peeling away thousands of ideas that aren’t going to work for you.

To put it in more practical terms, here’s how we do it here at Relenta. Years ago we developed a decision-making framework that is based on Jim Collins’s hedgehog concept and core values. As a result, we’re passive and active at the same time, like two sides of the same coin. Passive in the sense that we don’t agonize over strategy or tactics, ever. All our meetings are short, sweet and to the point. Active because we have a long waiting list of actionable ideas, each leading us in the direction we’ve chosen.

Try it, it’s beautiful.

Written at: Bali, Indonesia.

  • Dl

    I'm glad to see you blogging. The recent spell of no news made me feel nervous, because of the nature of a startup and the fact that Relenta is a mission critical piece of software for us and it works great too.

  • I don't think you are disagreeing with Godin at all. You see inspiration all around you because you have sought it. He is speaking to an audience that struggles to find the same inspiration you have so readily realized. He encourages them to go look for it. Seek it passionately. Once they do, they'll find it as near as you do.

  • I don't think you are disagreeing with Godin at all. You see inspiration all around you because you have sought it. He is speaking to an audience that struggles to find the same inspiration you have so readily realized. He encourages them to go look for it. Seek it passionately. Once they do, they'll find it as near as you do.

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