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Capturing and Selling Ideas

Updated on May 3, 2009

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?


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    • sabu singh profile image

      sabu singh 5 years ago

      Thank you for reading i scribble.

    • i scribble profile image

      i scribble 5 years ago

      Nice hub. I have the same problem really going anywhere with my "big" ideas. Certainly don't have the money to invest in development or patents. Wish I did have the answers.

      Ideas don't come to me while asleep, but often amidst insomnia. I'm completely irrational in my sleep!

    • profile image 7 years ago from United Arab Emirates

      Thank you for following me as I will you..........

    • sabu singh profile image

      sabu singh 8 years ago

      Like you, Trish, I too have a long list of unfinished hubs. Luckily, I do manage to finish some.

      The greater challenge for me is how to translate my ideas into reality.

      Thanks so much for reading

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 8 years ago

      hi Sabu,

      Thoughts, ideas, inspirations.  Most of the time these are, as you state, very fleeting things.  They sound great in the instant, but on further reflection, assuming the ideas were remembered, they fall short somehow.  Although I am not in the practice of a pen and pad, I did bother to write down 4 topics for future reference.  That was months ago, and they are still here, orphans waiting to be adopted :)

      As of late, I seem to be at a total loss as to what I'd like to say.  Sometimes I will sit here, start typing about something I thought would be a good topic, and find it only produces one paragraph.  So, out that thought goes and I'm left with trying to think of something else.

      What has happened to me several times is when I respond to a hub I can relate to, sometimes my comment becomes more than one paragraph and my thought is flowing nicely.  It has been at those moments that I cut myself short in the comment, and go write my own hub about the topic.

      Anyway, you offer good advice here, and thanks for sharing.

    • sabu singh profile image

      sabu singh 8 years ago

      Ah, that's interesting ST. Can one really patent an idea? I thought that was not possible, but let me check Indian laws.

      Sorry to hear about the tough break. I'm sure it was a good learning experience though.

      Thanks for reading

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Right you are, Sabu. If you don't write it down, it will get lost.

      About not letting your ideas get stolen, patents and copyrights can give some protection.

      A number of years ago my partner and I pitched a kids' magazine to a major sports team. They loved the idea and footed the bill for a first issue. Our job, in addition to writing and producing quarterly issues, was to secure the advertising. Even with this mega-team's sponsorship, we weren't able to come up with enough advertising dollars.

      It's tough out there!

    • sabu singh profile image

      sabu singh 8 years ago

      Thanks for your interesting comments BB and Ashley Joe. Well look at the bright side BB. You may have spent those GBP 500 on so many other things like booze or worse (better?). At least you are now the proud owner of 50 domain names. And who knows what the morrow will bring?

    • BudBrain profile image

      BudBrain 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Interesting post and something I've experienced more times than I can remember. Pun intended.

      Most of my ideas have been 'under the influence' as you put, and as you point out - they never seem to hold up against your own (sober) scrutiny.

      I'm pretty interested in web development so most of my ideas are based around the web - the worst thing about this is that I probably own around 50 domain names which I registered 'in the moment' and awoke the next day £10 down with a crap idea and a 2 year domain contract =(

    • sabu singh profile image

      sabu singh 8 years ago

      A case of quality vs quantity FP. Thank you for your comments.

      I am trying to write a hub on Hubbing Widows like grass widowers and golf widows. Hope you read it if I succeed in finishing it - might answer your remark about my having come a long way baby.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago

      My ideas, few and far between as they are, are usually about hubs I could write, and I find myself dashing off to the computer before they become an elusive memory. :P

      Most entertaining Sabu, and for one who took 20 years to write four hubs, you've come a long away in just a few days! :)

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Someday...... :)

    • profile image

      sabu singh 8 years ago

      Better late than never I guess. Thanks for your comments

    • dwilliamson profile image

      dwilliamson 8 years ago from Kamloops, BC

      I don't know how many ideas I have lost in my lifetime because I didn't get up in the middle of the night to scribble them down. Good idea about putting a pen and notepad by the bed.