Ideas Man

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Ian Maxwell

Ian Maxwell

Yesterdays guest post from James Altucher “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Becoming an Idea Machine” got a lot of emails replies.

Ian Maxwell one of our long time contributors and possibly one of Australia’s experienced tech, medtech and hard sciences entrepreneurs posted us this reply.

Ideas Man

I read an essay this morning which was quite long. As usual the message can be parsed into one paragraph, namely:

Force yourself to come up with ten new ideas a day, on any subject and care not about quality. Then when you really need a good idea you will be practised in the art and it will come to you.

This was in the context of technology startups.

It’s useless advice for me because I have had hundreds of great ideas a day, forever.

In fact my advice is quite different; do not propagate your own ideas but pick up the quality ideas of others.


First, there are over 7 billion people on the planet and a lot of good ideas out there. Restricting yourself to your own ideas is quite limiting.

Secondly, I tend to give my own ideas away (by email, by blog, by essays and by conversations) because I don’t trust myself to appraise my own ideas with total honesty.

I don’t think any one can.

Having said that, I suspect that the practice of coming up with your own ideas will VERY much help you properly assess the ideas of others. This is just a hunch.

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