Reminds me of a whole layer of people at corporate headquarters of my company. They send out beautiful newsletters, hold seminars and meetings about all kinds of stuff but as soon as it has been published it fizzles out and nothing comes out of it.
Why stick around for the hard part when you can get the promotion/cred for the idea and move on?
The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (SOE) was a famous Churchill enthusiasm, yet he had many useless impractical ones, that were a huge distraction, too.
(cough Gallipoli cough)
Basically, Churchill recognized that the old battleships they had were, well, now useless. Given that, the idea was to use them to try and open up the Dardanelles because they were essentially zero cost to lose. The Admirals, who were quite attached to their ships, viewed this plan differently and rather than striking with no warning (damn the losses), went in and out and gave the Turks time to entrench themselves.
The plan was basically never to land anywhere there, let alone Gallipoli.
Now obviously the buck stops with Churchill being in charge of the Admiralty but there was a confluence of errors that produced that particular clusterfuck.
 https://www.dancarlin.com/product/hardcore-history-52-bluepr... (Part 3 of 6, starting at about 2:50:00)
Of the impractical, well, he was a great believer in the boffins, so he supported SOE and other secret warfare, Bletchley, tanks etc. Yet he also promoted research into death rays, aerial mines, The Great Panjandrum (a huge 20 foot rocket powered catherine wheel intended to clear minefields. Test footage on YT), Project Habakkuk (An aircraft carrier made of pycrete - ice). I could go on all day. :)
Yet to get the good science, he probably had to let the boffins explore the bad and the silly too, so frankly I'm glad he had some of those seriously oddball thanks to hindsight ideas.
Tanks. The clearest example I can give of that Mr Churchill not knowing when to keep his nose out of things that don't concern him. One notable time he would not be told to butt out. They almost certainly would never have arrived in WW1 without him. When would war have ended, 1920, or later? The naval blockade was working, but so very slowly. The Americans, joining in 1917, still duplicated for themselves every mistake of the Allies in 1914 and 1915, except compressed into a far shorter time span. Machine guns without mobility made it inevitable. It needed an idea guy. I hope that doesn't sound too cliched, I'm far from Churchill's biggest apologist.
Churchill adopted tanks as his pet project. As First Lord of the Admiralty, whilst running the Navy, by taking funding from naval things. He formed the Landship Committee, and appointed a naval architect. The Army had thought them pointless. They were initially called land ships because the navy were the only ones who actually did see the point. The Army saw the point after first use. Then wanted lots more of them. The rest, as they say, is history and quite a few tanks have been built since.
Edit: What provokes downvotes here? Surely not for comparing current politicians poorly?
I was just reading how a French inventor offered one of the first submarines in existence as a gift to Napoleon. He refused it.
Imagine if France had instead started massively supporting submarine research and development instead. They could have had a couple of hundred year lead on the rest of the world in submarines and perhaps dominated the seas from then on.
Of course, even then it wouldn't have been so simple, as there'd likely be technology theft and simple inspiration by others that would make their lead not so great. But the potential to make a great difference was there and it was squandered by an otherwise extraordinary leader.
More he was a wartime YC - he backed all sorts of clearly idiotic ideas, and a few of them turned out to be platinum. Would Lord Halifax, Chamberlain or Atlee (or worse May, Johnson or Corbyn) have poured the equivalent of billions into tanks that were crucial in WW1, or into Bletchley that turned out to be the golden goose, or radar? Nope, almost certainly not, they'd have all have died as unproven too, and we'd probably have lost.
An aircraft carrier made of ice is clearly an absurd idea. Yet if it had closed the Atlantic gap, as intended, millions of tons of shipping would have been saved.
And they ran into the best Turkish General
I doubt there's 1-3 things that would have dramatically altered the outcome.
Churchill gets the blame from history. Such is the way of things.
Apart from anything else, Churchill's war ministry did feature a Minister without Portfolio.
Edit: Even product owner is a bit of a stretch on my part. They're presenting user stories and requirements, which the dev team can pick and choose from the backlog (which, albeit, is prioritized by the product owner).
Small parties also provide a protest vote, and since voting occurs on a riding-by-riding basis, the desire and intent of the protest can vary. Sometimes protests can be so widespread that no government can form a majority. In Canada, we managed to elect three minority governments in a row over a period of seven years (2004 - 2011).
In short, voters use small parties to send a message.
 The NDP's first national leader, Tommy Douglas, was never Prime Minister, but is known as "father of Medicare" and is generally well regarded by Canadians decades after his death.
For example, at least a part of current Brexit hassle is because the DUP (with their 1.5% of total MP seats) are needed by May's government, and they got to veto one of possible options of solving the Ireland-North Ireland customs border issue. There are many other examples worldwide, where small parties focused on a particular domain of problems can get an oversized influence in that domain.
In some other systems, you can choose multiple options. This makes it possible to represent an opinion like "Starbucks CEO, then Democrats, then Libertarians, then Republicans", and so smaller parties can still get votes without compromising the election of larger aligned parties.
They should be able to give there "dropped" votes to a bigger party for a legislative period, for negotiated terms.
"If you promise to push opticfibre to all homes in these citys, you can have our voters voice for the next 4 years."
This would solve the problem of unheard voices and- allow actual negotiating politicians to be trained and get busy.
Take the Green Party in Canada. Without it, the remaining left(ish) parties in Canada only have to go a little better than the Conservatives on the environment to get the environmental vote. With the Greens in, they have to at least meet them half-way or they risk further splitting the centre-left.
They also sometimes hold the balance of power. This puts their issue front and centre.
1) In the USA CO2 emissions are dropping mainly due to natural gas replacing coal. This was possible because of the development of fracking. Democrats are against this, Republicans for.
2) The best carbon-free technology that we currently have, and can deploy at scale, is nuclear power. Republicans for. Democrats against.
So its having to choose between two evils. Stability or Poison. Stability will kill you now, poison might kill you tomorrow, or might even be solved.
It sounds like with #1 you are suggesting that Republicans would prefer to poison the water of local communities and refuse to look at better alternatives. And the reason seems like money, from what I read online.
(EDIT: Also, investment in technology like fraking that DO POLLUTE means a longer leadtime before real solutions are offered at the right price. This fraking is done not to reduce climate change effects - it will make things worse - but to make money for oil people.)
You are straight-up ignoring Methane leaking from fraking sites directly making short-term climate change much, much worse. Methane is pollution too, and very bad pollution for our atmosphere right now.
> 2) The best carbon-free technology that we currently have, and can deploy at scale, is nuclear power. Republicans for. Democrats against.
There is a lot more to the world than carbon. I'm in favor of Nuclear energy by the way. I thought most democrats were? Literally 100% of Democrats I know in person are in favor of Nuclear energy. So I'm not sure what you mean here. But anyway,
Nuclear power has a long-lead-time and a huge capital investment, while many renewables are lower cost to start up and produce mostly pollution-free power immediately. I'm more in favor of actual renewables but I'll take nuclear power any day.
I think most democrats would love large-scale nuclear power, to be honest, and I'm quite surprised that you think otherwise. I'll have to look into this.
> People where the fracking is are pro-fracking. People in far away cities that aren't affected are against.
We are all affected. This is one world, one planet. We are all on it together.
And anyway, why would it matter if opinions are divided on this topic based on where we live? That speaks more to the education, opportunity, circumstance, political mood, etc, than it does to the issue at hand. It's a logical fallacy to argue that fraking is good for the environment (or good at all?) because people close by support it and people far away don't.
> Republicans would prefer to poison the water of local communities and refuse to look at better alternatives.
The report says:
> EPA found scientific evidence that hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances. The report identifies certain conditions under which impacts from hydraulic fracturing activities can be more frequent or severe:
Water withdrawals for hydraulic fracturing in times or areas of low water availability, particularly in areas with limited or declining groundwater resources;
Spills during the handling of hydraulic fracturing fluids and chemicals or produced water that result in large volumes or high concentrations of chemicals reaching groundwater resources;
Injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids into wells with inadequate mechanical integrity, allowing gases or liquids to move to groundwater resources;
Injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids directly into groundwater resources;
Discharge of inadequately treated hydraulic fracturing wastewater to surface water; and
Disposal or storage of hydraulic fracturing wastewater in unlined pits resulting in contamination of groundwater resources.
Data gaps and uncertainties limited EPA’s ability to fully assess the potential impacts on drinking water resources locally and nationally. Because of these data gaps and uncertainties, it was not possible to fully characterize the severity of impacts, nor was it possible to calculate or estimate the national frequency of impacts on drinking water resources from activities in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle.
I don't disagree with the report. I disagree with you.
If people disagree, please post some counterexamples!
The right doesnt oppose clean air, it opposes giving Al Gore's carbon credit company a blank check.
The right (in the US) could just as easily ask why has boarder security become a left right issue.
That's because the right made it a partisan issue.
The bipartisan Jordan Commission recommended cutting legal immigration in half and punishing employers for hirin illegals. The democrats made this a partisan issue.
Comments like the one above shows we have a lot of work to do. Treating those citizens as second class does not valid your point.
You may disagree with that point, but it is not the same point as judging average education of this or that voter.
In the end, nothing. Nothing would materialize, we would start some work then realize how much effort these grand schemes were and get completely discouraged.
Then I forced myself to stop rattling off these crazy ideas, instead just whisper the big vision to myself and break it down to its smallest viable parts for building (aka MVP) and go off try to build that. After trying about 3 different ones so far and failing to get any traction on those 3 I have the pain of having spent my nights and weekends trying to make ideas work.
I no longer rattle off crazy ideas to people because I’ve come to understand what it actually means to go off and build them.
As a little self promotion, my latest idea (I know right) is actually kind of working but it took a ton of effort and I am afraid to even talk about the grand vision but non the less have been chipping away at it on the weekends.
I built an app that lets you listen to any Article on the go so you can maximize that dead time on your commute or when biking. The app is cross platform and uses some beautiful sounding AI ML models to convert Text to Audio.
You can try it here if you have the time, but just know it took a ton of effort and discipline to go from Idea to App.
From Baltasar Gracián, "The Art of Worldly Wisdom":
Keep Matters for a Time in Suspense.
Admiration at their novelty heightens the value
of your achievements, It is both useless and
insipid to play with the cards on the table. If you
do not declare yourself immediately, you arouse
expectation, especially when the importance of
your position makes you the object of general
attention. Mix a little mystery with everything,
and the very mystery arouses veneration. And
when you explain, be not too explicit, just as you
do not expose your inmost thoughts in ordinary
intercourse. Cautious silence is the holy of holies
of worldly wisdom. A resolution declared is never
highly thought of; it only leaves room for
criticism. And if it happens to fail, you are doubly
unfortunate. Besides you imitate the Divine way
when you cause men to wonder and watch.
Quick suggestion.. you should put a sample of the voice quality on your website so people can hear it before installing it.
Yes we all hate that guy.
But there are plenty of idea guys&girls who are busy executing ideas, competent, have skills, and still might come up with a useful idea that would help your project.
Should we hate these guys too?
I attempted to start businesses with a few friends of this type when I was younger.
The result was mostly the same: I would spend weeks/months working on the product/idea, idea guy would either get bored because they are just sitting there waiting for the launch and move onto something new or attempt to become my defacto manager.
Some people like the idea of running a business and seem to think it only involves telling other people what to do and waiting for results (as if that's the hardest part).
The other concern is that what happens to this person in the next phase of the business?
Many ideas people will realize they don't have the skills and will try to push for ideas that aren't necessarily better, but that they can attach their name to...causing havoc.
Ideas are easy. I have tons of good ideas and the skills to execute. Now, I will only consider parterning with someone if they have money to invest or a relevant business network+some other skill.
No, because those aren't 'idea people'. The phrase is meant for people who only come up with ideas and nothing else, it's not meant to describe anyone who has ideas.
I once bought a book called Ideas Generation. I think it was this one. A couple of years later one of the authors was in the news for plagiarism. Whoops!
'Idea guys' can come in different shapes and sizes, people on average need to be able to understand the areas in which an 'idea guy' is a net positive or a net negative. Since a large part of comments are pushing the negative experiences I will list a few positives. I have seen cases where an idea guy creates synergy around coders that are heavy on execution,'idea guys' helping teams go through certain design thinking phases or helping them understand how design thinking benefits them, 'idea guys' helping a team tackle their hurdles throughout the implementation.
Most of all, I think it is worth noting that most 'idea guys' are likely adding value in other ways too, since most jobs are not dependent on only one variable you bring. It is also more likely for a person to only see a small % of the value someone may bring to the business
Oddly enough, just saying that people should see things in a different perspective is an idea or recommendation. Does that mean I will now be labelled as an 'idea guy' with a negative connotation?
[Pop quiz: If an "idea" works out, guess who gets credit? If it fails, guess who gets blamed?]
There are few things worse than an Idea Guy yelling "Charge!" from the rear. I flush these resumes quickly.
This is usually in the context of whether they should “share” their specific idea. What I always recommend is spread it broadly, and try to get help executing. Very few things these days can be done in isolation. What is most important is to “get going”, get a team and prove you can deliver.
Edit: minor fix for grammar
I think people can spend a lot of energy trying to protect their idea, and almost no energy in establishing if there is any prior work. I think this comes from two main places:
1) A desire to believe we are special in our insight into the problem.
2) (lesser) A lack of general awareness that knowing the prior work in a domain is insanely useful.
3) A lack of search knowhow when it comes to finding similar ideas to one's own. This of course is aided when you have a good general understanding of the domains your idea touches, because you have the power of a search vocabulary.
If you can stand on someone else's failures and efforts, and reap the benefits of their (explicit or just effectively) research, why would you not spend the short amount of time digesting that, before reinventing the wheel?
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the sholders [sic] of Giants." - Isaac Newton
What does that say about patents, and the patent system?
I personally think people can see this within themselves. We have ideas that we should eat better and exercise, but knowing and doing are very different things.
The "idea of" hotmail was amazing and easily communicated. The value immediate. There are clearly ideas that are not a dime a dozen.
I have also solved seemingly intractable problems that groups had worked on for weeks with a single sentence. Every good idea has first thinker. I understand the stance that execution trumps the brilliance of the idea, but it overly devalues ideas themselves and encourages toil over elegance.
Could you explain?
This is true (IMHO) of anything, whether it is a way of viewing our would (physics), an insight into a new market (startup idea), or even a brand new way of doing something (pure invention).
In every case, unless you put work in, at best it is effectively a hypothesis. It is the energy to ‘validate’ that idea that makes the idea ‘real’.
In general, this is what I believe most stealth startups/labs are really trying to protect, the validation of a specific idea, and the specific method of executing that idea.
All that said, I would argue that truly novel insights are exceptionally rare. If you indeed manage to get one, you should question yourself extensively to validate it truly is new, and if it is, double check that perhaps the reason it isn’t done is because it is not feasible to execute. Even if you pass all those gates, I would argue that unless you can do the necessary execution, the idea, no matter how spectacular, is only marginally valuable.
A few question:
1. So if an ideas guy does some basic prototyping and shows that the idea works, does it make the idea "real" ?
Or does it really require 100% execution to be considered a serious contributor ?
2. >> what I believe most stealth startups/labs are really trying to protect, the validation of a specific idea,
Could you please expand on that ?
3. What about doing serious research - finding in-depth and reliable knowledge, to show why the idea is likely to work ? Or similarly doing research to find cheap/easy ways to test the idea ?
I'm asking as someone who is strong in research skills, but relatively weak in executing.
However, if you go this route, PLEASE have realistic expectations on what you are contributing vs what they are contributing.
A great executer with a poor initial idea will still succeed. A poor executer with even the greatest idea in the world will not (with the caveat that luck always plays in things like this).
Therefore, it will not be an equal partnership, not by a long shot. Hypothetical experiment: you get person X to join you, and they do a amazing job, building the company and it is wildly successful. You can argue that X person would not have even looked here if it wasn’t for me. Yes, you would be right, but that is a very small percentage of why it was successful.
To answer your questions directly:
1. I think that in your founding teams you Gould always look at two things: 1. What someone is immediately bringing to the table (effectively capital), and 2. What you expect them to bring over time (and you can choose your time horizon for that second piece). If you only are going to be giving the idea, and not be the one developing it to make it real, you need to understand that is a capital investment. Whereas the person(s) executing are going to be providing value over time. It is important that a cap table reflects the relative value of these things, and that people agree on that value (and there are mechanisms to reallocate as needed). Otherwise things can go bad fast.
2. Expand on stealth startups/labs
While I don’t have direct experience with this one (I never did a stealth startup). What I have observed in stealth startups is that generally they have a “reason” to keep quiet, and it is rarely the idea itself per se. Usually it is because they want to do one of the following:
- build up hype/exclusivity (Segway, Magic Leap)
- try to “find market fit” before doing significant publicity
- in very rare cases, they are trying to protect the idea because it is “so obvious” and easy to copy, and therefore they are trying to give themselves as much of a head start as possible
3. Finally for your last question, I would argue that you aren’t 100% idea at that point, you have done some execution. The question would be how people would value it. But just to give some perspective, there is a reason very few startups are valued particularly high at the onset. Even the greatest startups rarely exceed the low single digit millions for initial valuations, and those are the ones that have already done a fair amount of work. So use that to be realistic about how much an idea is “worth”, even if it is a fantastic one.
Hopefully I am not putting too much cold water out there, but given the rates of startup failure, I would rather you have a realistic view of the world than waste time/resources otherwise.
There is a lot of survivor bias in original ideas. We see Apple, Facebook, Twitter, etc, and for some reason tend to think those companies are successful because of great ideas.
An idea is just a seed. Nutrients, water, climate, care, etc. All those contribute to growing a full tree.
In between the two Apple fired Jobs, took a swing and a miss at the mobile market, an entire generation of companies grew up to take a swing and a miss at the mobile market, NeXT reverse acquired Apple, and only then did the vision come to fruition even though it had a guy of the caliber and resources of Steve Jobs pushing the entire time, not to mention a dozen other companies with competing similar visions and all their dependencies.
Execution is hard.
Looking back from the smartphone age, the original "spinning rust" iPod seems rather unspectacular, but at the time it was unprecedentedly expensive for a piece of portable recreational electronics. I entertain this theory that it would have stayed an exotic luxury item if it had not coincided with the "Napster revolution". MP3 piracy spread from the nerd niche to mainstream just in time for the iPod (edit: and, more importantly, from the tech nerd niche to the music nerd niche), providing potential iPod buyers not only with a music library big enough to justify the expensive HDD, but also freeing up funds which would have spent on CDs otherwise. Note that the ITMS wasn't introduced until the third generation iPod. The US CD market dropped billions in those years. The typical music collector buying an early iPod wasn't exactly a rich career person, more the scrappy urbanite type who spends their nights alternating between the tender and the patron side of a bar, playing in a band or dreaming of maybe becoming a music critic or a DJ one day.
>> and resources of Steve Jobs pushing the entire time
Um. But did even Steve Jobs push for it the entire time?
Y'know, every time someone comes to me with a revolutionary idea - I answer to them with a long paragraph about the next big thing: it's called "teleportation".
Imagine how the world will change with us being able to teleport? Isn't that great? Y'see, I am not that smart - would you like to help me with this awesome idea?
Fifteen years later they reshot the same commercial and simply changed the name to “ipad” - fantastic proof of foresight.
This is one reason I really hate the "do it on a computer" patents. Someone writes down the same idea everybody has that isn't quite feasible yet with today's technology and basically sits on it. Then when the technology matures to the point where it's practical they start suing everybody who is actually implementing it.
How far can you take this? Does a patent have to be based in something that is vaguely implementable or can it literally just be a theoretical idea without concrete, detailed implementation specifics?
I.e. could one patent things like the 'holodeck' idea today, and just wait around 50 years for it to get made, then cash in, or would that just be too ridiculous?
The problem of course is that even after pulling all of the tricks to extend the life of your patent (extensions during filing, submarine patents, etc...), there is a hard time limit that you run into. If you're too ambitious the patents expire before the technology catches up and you get nothing.
Took a loooong time to really come to grips with that notion, but once I did, the world started making a lot more sense to me
To me, idea guys is a symptom of insufficient skin in the game. When the CEO has skin in the game, time is valuable, and they really quick start focusing on execution and the value of time.
After each "new" idea, spend about half an hour working on the idea. Best to do this on paper and target producing some good looking notes. Then file it away close at hand. If the "idea guy" ever follows up and asks you about their idea, pull out your notes and say "ahh yes, I've been working on that and I have a few things to discuss with you." You now appear as a hard working and enthusiastic underling. For the majority of cases where they never follow up, you have limited your wasted effort.
He does come up with most of the ideas we execute -- but he bases them on his knowledge of the market and what would sell, and he takes care of all of the non-technical aspects of execution: business, marketing, management, etc.
In other words, he puts as much effort into execution as I do, and that's why I don't consider him an idea guy. He's much more valuable than that.
I'm not saying you shouldn't talk or write about ideas, but that you should try to strike a balance, like tacking a sailboat against the wind. You learn some things from talking with other people and writing to organize your thoughts, then you learn other things from shutting the fuck up, writing code, and using what you built.
33 years ago I was lucky enough to come up with a good enough idea to shut the fuck up and implement, which proved it was good enough to talk and write more about, which led to many more rounds of implementation, changes, talking and writing. Now I'm learning how to program Blender in Python, to do yet another round, by learning from and building on top of other people's work!
Had to learn me some vector math, fix bugs in the python openGL wrappers, figure out how the openGL state machine actually works and then get it all put together in a reasonable way. Turned out pretty well and other people took that implementation and made it into a complex addon that eventually ended up being widely used.
It might have changed in the years since I did any blender programming but I had to do a lot of bug hunting and adding functionality to get python scripts working -- which was fine since most of the stuff I worked on was specifically to get the python API able to do whatever random thing I (or, more likely, someone else) needed.
I love the way the new Blender 2.80 interface (which is a whole new ball game) integrates pie menu layout as a first class citizen, so you can nest any other kinds of user interface stuff inside of pie menus, and everything just works.
Have you seen the astounding Pie Menu Editor extension? It's getting seriously into HyperCard territory!
It's SO much more than just just a pie menu editor: you can edit all kinds of blender user interfaces widgets, linear menus, dialogs, panels, key bindings, macros, modal operators and properties. You can make custom control panels and put them into pie menus, as well as copying existing parts of the Blender user interface into your own pie menus and panels! And of course you can script and customize everything with Python.
It's really hard to convey everything it does, and the documentation and demos are pretty sparse, but here is a playlist with lots of examples:
Defining your own modal operators (interactive modes for live editing with visual feedback, temporary key and mouse bindings, etc) is particularly mind blowing! And those are great for invoking from pie menus, enabling a very fluid live direct-manipulation editing style.
Chances are pretty high I found some of your code laying around on the interwebs and used that to figure out how it all works so you probably deserve most of the credit;) Matt Ebb did a C prototype way back when and gave me his code but it was too complicated to help out with the python one I ended up writing.
Honestly I haven't been keeping up with what blender is doing since I can't even open the new version due to my videocard being too old. I'd be nice to get back to blender hacking (have some ideas on compiling down the node trees using partial evaluation) but can't see a new computer happening anytime in the near future.
1. "Idea guy" comes up with ideas faster than any human being, or team of human beings, could implement them.
2. "Idea guy" gets frustrated because it takes team so long "just to add a button or two" or whatever, and the relationship often sours. Of course, this responsibility may fall on engineers as well, because they fail to realize that communicating engineering issues to non-engineers is an essential part of their job... or they're simply bad at it.
Coming up with ideas is easy.
Understanding end-users and coming up with (non-incremental) ideas to genuinely help them is difficult and is a fairly rare talent.
Coming up with such ideas in harmony with the engineering+logistical aspects of bringing those ideas to market is unicorn territory, and those people are super valuable.
10 years ago, I was the "idea guy" managing a team of non-developers. I grew frustrated with the pace of bug fixes and (what I considered) small improvements out of the development team. I got so frustrated that I started developing my own applications for my team, which greatly increased their productivity. Eventually that led to my career as a software developer. Years later as a CIO, I am frequently asked by the idea guys, "Can't you just build this one little thing?" and I get to be the guy who says "well that's probably a 3-6 month project." Invariably the idea guy starts to think that you're intentionally sandbagging him and sours the relationship. That and some other things ended up driving my predecessor to burn out, which is how I became the CIO.
When I worked a booth at a hackathon a few years ago, we had 5 Drones to give out to the 5 best uses of our API. We had a few takers, but all but one made a bullshit project using as many apis of other companies to hedge their bets and increase the prizes they could get, and a lot actually didn't really use our api (they made up data and said it came from ours). None of them had a deployed application, or much more than slides.
One team not only focused solely on our API, but bought a domain and deployed a working product. Using our actual data.
We ended up giving that team of 4 entry level engineers all 5 drones, because they're the only ones that deserved them. Helps that all our judges were engineers.
Luckily Mr Facebook scared them away from us evil programmers.
I think it is easy to discount people who throw out ideas but don't implement them, and I get that the people talked about in the article are the extreme end of the spectrum, but it also doesn't take much time to say "we've thought of that and it doesn't work" or "what we have right now is working". The benefits of getting an idea you wouldn't have thought of can outweigh the minor inconveniences.
It is -- that's called "brainstorming," and it's a valuable activity. But that's different from being an "idea guy".
The difficulty is that it’s not hard to identify that people would like flying cars, it’s much harder to wield physics to make that practical.
I'm lucky enough i've got enough autonomy at my job that if I do get any 'great ideas' to change things up or anything, I can usually do a bit of work and at least see if it'll be feasible before I ever need to say anything.
p.s. I didn't read the article.. it's 504ing.
I'm one of those people who has a serious profusion of ideas -- I don't have enough time to follow up on all the good ones, because I tend to focus on delivering projects I'm already working on. On the rare occasion that I'm invited to meetings, I generally stay quiet and listen to my coworkers talk through issues that they're having. Often, I'll perk up at some point and ask a simple question that seems obvious "what if we... / why aren't we..." -- but nobody was looking at the problem like I am, so my "obvious" solution saves the day.
The real value of ideas people is that we don't get hung up on the details. We find "out of the box" solutions to problems that can trip up linear thinkers, and we're better at finding the nearest feasible pivot when that's necessary. We rely on experts to fill in mundane details, and if we can't play ball when they get stuck on the inevitable gaps in our ideas... then we've led our experts down a rabbit hole.
Good ideas people will have a specialty that they can fall back on. Your team only needs a few ideas a month, and you need something else to occupy your time -- because no matter how valuable your solutions are, yesterday's problem doesn't cost a dime once you've solved it. And the value of an idea is ephemeral -- once it's in the air and people start working on it, they build credit and it quickly becomes "theirs." Nobody else will/should see the hundreds of similar-shaped ideas that you rejected along the way -- your process isn't "work" to them. So apply yourself to a measurable quantity that technical folks can understand, keep your brainstorms at 20%, and only discuss the wild ideas with people who can meaningfully engage in creative processes.
In my part of the US, "guy" is a gender-neutral term.
“Gal” instantly conveys a long-gone era of disempowered women to me. In an era of non-binary genders, I think reclaiming it would only serve to further exclude. Rather than try and force the world to use a new gender-neutral word (“zer”?) just let “guy” be the gender-neutral word it has been used as for decades. It doesn’t have the gender connotations of he/she/him/her and needs no correcting.
Because for all people pounce to excuse "guy" as gender neutral, this article only composes that with "he/him," which actually aren't gender neutral pronouns. Counterexamples to the "gender neutral" claim are far to easy to come by.
> We all know an “Idea Guy.” He’s the one that seems unbelievably intelligent and creative. He has an endless list of interesting ideas, but he waves his hand and says “minor details” when you ask him how any of them might actually work.
After a while of that I stopped caring. Just work on what they tell you , who cares if it's a sinking ship. After you try to right the ship for 5 years you stop caring as much. As long as you still get that $$ twice a month :p
We truly understand the product and the effort needed to get there but we're inherently not detail oriented and once we've "solved the problem" with that 40% pilot/MVP we tend to get bored with the implementation details and we certainly become "idea guys" if we don't at least keep piloting new features and being honest with ourselves about the externalities our ideas create.
Anyway as long as you're being thoughtful about the relationship between your idea, the actual code, and the actual user experience, you can avoid being just an idea guy.
So far, the real code warriors seem ok with this.
This person had an idea about a blog but not the skills to keep it up?