Kill Your Darlings
I remember someone saying this, “Ideas are like children, there are none so wonderful as your own..“. And I think, therein lies the crux or let’s say ‘tragic flaw’ of many creative heroes. The big thinkers, the innovators, the ones who dream up big ideas. We love our ideas too much. We build our little world around them. Now I am no hero here, but I have made this mistake one too many times.
Ideas, like tiny sparks ignite us, they also burn the fuel in us and make us run. Trust me, there is nothing more exhilarating to see an idea take shape to become something you can look back at and smile.
But this morning while listening to Led Zeppelin and watching Bombay traffic crawl, I had my own little version of epiphany. I need to create a ‘ shredder box ‘ and bin a few of these ‘once shiny sparkly ideas’.
You see, the evolution lies in making your idea so strong that it can create a product that can eat itself. Not that I am advocating for a circle of destruction here, but just the knowledge of fact that if you won’t kill your idea , shift the arena, improve the cycle, someone else will. Call it the classic OODA loop. Observe, Orient, Decide and Act to execute the decision. Sometimes it might mean to ‘ shred the idea’ and replace it with new. Sometime, it might mean that the evolved idea is totally different from where you started in the first place. But in our times when things happen at breakneck speed, there is little merit in attaching your ego to the idea and being stubborn about it.
To build things, and I can only talk about businesses and products here ( I’m sure it applies to art too), you need to constantly create and destroy. Take the love and heartbreaks with same fierceness and do not stop chasing the daylight.
I am sure we all have seen some of the brightest minds taking pride in being stubborn, or what they say ‘ holding on to their ground ‘ ( and ideas ) when market changes at a pace quicker than we all can fathom. And while I am often a fan of pushing things till the last mile, I have come to realise that when it comes to creativity, ideas, building businesses, the smartness often lies in believing more but loving a little less.
“Now you know why I dynamited Cortlandt.”
“I designed Cortlandt. I gave it to you. I destroyed it.”
“I destroyed it because I did not choose to let it exist.” – Howard Roark , The Fountainhead