I was reading Russell Davies’ blog as usual and came across this great post from June. I remember at the time of first reading that I loved the title "The Tyranny of the Big Idea" as it seemed to capture the strange attraction we all have with "big ideas", and how we stop and wait until one arrives.
One of the reasons I enjoy blogging is that it allows you to start with a small idea. You can explore and create episodically. You can jump from one idea to the next and you can link out to other people and their ideas effortlessly. And the more you blog, the more that ideas and stories begin to coalesce. And as you follow the links, you come face-to-face with emotions, habits and brands. And importantly, you come up close to people … because it is clear, in blogging, that you are dealing with an individual. As Russell says, it is not about big ideas …
This isn’t about phrase-making. It’s not about the actual words, it’s the bundle of ideas, activities, history, products, people, attitudes, emotions, habits that the words represent.
And as usual, Russell gives away a secret. He generously gives us some insight about HOW you can work with ideas in this context. There are five steps to get started:
- Start doing stuff
- Look for patterns that emerge
- Try not to write too much
- Don’t be media neutral
- Something else …
My favourites are "start doing stuff" and "look for patterns that emerge". The important thing to remember is that small ideas are fast … they are fast to devise and work with, they are fast to get to market and they are quick to show returns. And the good thing, if they aren’t living up to expectations, then you can manage, modify and move them. And because they don’t take 12 months to work through and execute, you don’t need to run through research because you run it through your ACTUAL market.
Of course, the first thing to do is to let go of the big idea. Sure there is a tyranny … but there is also a level of addiction. We are drawn to the power of the big idea … now we just need to refocus and find a love of FAST.