Capturing and Selling Ideas
Get that idea going
Have you ever thought of the many world-beating ideas that floated through your head , only to get lost downstream somewhere? Ideas that may have turned you into a billionaire? They are here and then gone. In an instant. And most of them come at night when you are asleep. You awaken bleary-eyed, trying desperately hard to recall what you had thought about during the night, but no luck. Gone is gone. Much like my hair.
I have now found a way to beat the system. Simple and effective. I keep a notepad and pen at my bedside table. So whenever I get a brainwave at night, I force myself up and scribble a few key words which will help me recall the idea in its entirety in the morning. Sure a midnight scrawl is almost as bad as an alcoholic one – the guys who made that ad on drunken driving were’nt kidding, believe me. You will not be able to recognize your own handwriting when you write under THE INFLUENCE (WUI like DUI?). Ofcourse ideas that come during the day are easier to handle. But you have to be quick, alert and ready with a pen otherwise you are back to “Err, what was that great idea I had a few moments ago?”
All ideas seem great when you first get them. A large number however melt quickly under the weight of scrutiny of the midday sun. So since I started this practice a few months ago, I have collected something like 20-odd ideas. All waiting for a sponsor. Which brings me to the next point. How does one go about selling ideas? Do you go to Ratan Tata and say “Hey Ratan, after the Dhamra Port has killed the Olive Ridley turtles, would you take time off to listen to my great idea guaranteed to make you another million bucks?” Unlikely you will be able to get within sniffing distance of his security staff, forget about him. They won’t let you inside Bombay House, especially if you smell like a turtle-lover. And how do you ensure Ratan or someone else does’nt steal your great idea? And make millions while you still grovel around?
I have no idea what sparks an idea. Usually it is a connection with something said or observed or written. There is a flash and abracadabra there is an idea. My ideas tend to have a lot of variety. From handling traffic management problems in cities to book publishing to upgradation of videoshooting equipment to home karaoke. I bounced my traffic management idea off a retired Police Commissioner with whom I play bridge occasionally. The thought was to pick his brain on how to develop the idea into a working concept. Unfortunately the discussion meandered off at a tangent and never came back. So there I was, left with what I still think is a brilliant idea and no place to go.
Then you have ideas like putting the Indian party game “Antakshari” on to the TV. Absolutely brilliant. What I would love to know is whatever happened to the person who had the original thought. Did he get his just rewards or was he a sucker and the real rewards sucked away by the TV channel, the production house, the participants and what have you?
Another thing is how do you price an idea? What is an idea worth?
The big question for me is what do I do with my ideas? Damned if I have an answer. Any ideas anyone?