The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Go For It! #atozchallenge

Uttercast: Steal This Idea
Uttercast: Steal This Idea (Photo credit: doughaslam)
ideas
ideas (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)


          So many of us dream dreams that we never do anything about.  We come up with terrific ideas that may fire us up for a while and then we'll let them fall by the wayside.   Sometimes our lack of action may be due to lack of money.  In many cases this is totally understandable.  At other times we may lack know-how or we are too preoccupied with other things or just too plain lazy to go any further in pursuing a dream.

          If you don't go for it, somebody else eventually will.

          I'm reminded of an idea I came up with back in the 80's.  I dreamed up what I thought was a rather clever toy that could be further expanded to be used by arts and crafts aficionados.  The more I thought about the idea, the better it sounded.  I talked  to my wife about it a lot and dreamed up all the different related products that could be marketed.   I was on the road touring with a show at the time so there wasn't too much I could do but dream and talk while driving.

          Years later I was in a business marketing class at the University of Phoenix.   One of our team projects was to come up with an idea and a plan to market that idea.   We decided to use the idea that I had dreamed up in the 80's.  We presented the idea and it was well-received by the class.  And that was it.

          Or was it?

           A few years ago, I revisited my idea as I considered ways to make an income since I was unemployed and not having much luck finding a new job.   I researched my idea on the internet and there it was.  A product essentially identical to the concept that I had dreamed up in the 80's was now available on Amazon as well as several other retailers such as Walmart and Toys 'R Us.   My dream had been realized by someone else and the product line had been expanded in many of the ways that I thought it could be.  The only thing that was really different was the product name.

          I'm not going to say that someone who had heard my idea at sometime in the past had stolen it.   After all I didn't own the idea or have any claims on it.  It's conceivable that someone in that marketing class had run with my idea, but I haven't found any evidence of this.

           My point is that I had a good idea and I didn't go for it.   Maybe someone else used my idea. I'm more inclined to believe that ideas are floating out there for anyone's taking.  I doubt whether I'm the only one who ever thought of this idea that came into my head, but no one acted upon that idea until fairly recently.

           If we don't go for making a good idea see the light of day, we should expect that somebody else eventually will.   We can and should dream, but if we don't pursue the dream, it will eventually get away from us.

           Have you ever lost out on a dream because of not following through on it?   Why do you usually fail to go for making a big idea happen?     Do you think somebody "stole" my idea or do you think there's a floating idea repository out there with dreams ready for someone to grab onto?


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37 comments:

  1. I had a dream to write a poetry book, I have 2 already published the third is coming out today, as a self publisher they will be coming to my home so am excited.
    Alex put me on the linky list but it wouldn't show up on Sunday at my end and was Fed up but have redone F and have done G post. hope you read them.
    People are just not reading my blogs.
    Have a good day.
    Yvonne.

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  2. Someone else just had the same idea. Happens with books, movies, etc.
    I had an idea for a website for the IWSG and two months later, it was launched. Not a money maker (wasn't designed to be one) but it was an idea that needed to happen.

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  3. I have ideas that flit in my mind, flutter around a bit and then flit out. I believe that ideas are formed by observations, interactions, by things around you and of course, the mother of all inventions, necessity.
    Ideas are not formed in a vacuum.
    That’s probably how someone thought up that thing that you put over your head when you are outside and it’s raining.
    That reminds me, I need an “I” word. Hey I have an idea. I think I read about it somewhere.

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  4. Dreams that turn into a novel and marketable ideas amaze me. Wish I had one!

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  5. I love your post today. My dad had came up with the idea for disposable diapers when I was little but never followed through with his idea. I can still recall the shock when my mother learned someone had gone forward with the idea after my dad had died.

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  6. My ex husband used to come up with some inventive ideas but we never knew how to set it in motion. Then inevitably a year or so later, it would hit the market and he'd be crushed b/c he'd thought of it first. We just lacked the funds and know how to make the idea into the actual 'thing'.

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  7. I think ideas are out there in a big ocean and we see them swim past but unless we catch them they aren't ours! I try not to get upset over ideas that got away, but rather think that there is another one out there I need to catch.

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  8. Aww. No hint as to your idea? I don't suppose it was the little rubber bands kids are using to make bracelets, huh?

    I don't think this has happened to me, but when I'm writing a novel and I see other novels come out that feature similar themes, I get nervous. Then I try to calm down by thinking it's okay, I can use that book for a comparison in my query letter some day.

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  9. Followed your blog as cifarshayar but didn't get a follow back from you, I blog at The Other Side

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  10. I believe it's never too late to go for your dreams. I started learning guitar at 50. I started my singing group, Sugartime, at 60. Now I'm singing and dancing all the time after giving up that dream when I was a child. Great topic, Lee.

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  11. Someone else posted along these lines just within the last few days. Or it made me think of this... I can't remember which or where now.

    Anyway, I said to that person that I had a novel idea back in the 90s that I thought about all of the time. I committed not a single word to paper though I thought about it endlessly and even verbally shared it with a co-worker. A few years later the first book in what would become a successful series came out. And it was my idea. Not exactly of course. But it was my premise given life.

    Yep. If you don't create it, someone else will.

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  12. I'm going for a writing career. After spending many years in the classroom and raising my 3 kids (still attempting to do that!), I decided to seriously go for my dream. I try to keep my mouth shut about my story ideas. But sometimes I will give a clue or two about what I'm writing. I'm always fearful of someone snatching up my ideas, so my fear motivates me to write really fast:)

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  13. Yvonne -- It's been difficult to keep up with your blogs since they keep changing. Hope you've found one now that will stay in place.

    Alex --There's always ideas that can be latched onto and people to latch onto them.

    Lynda -- One thing leads to another as they say.

    Cathrina -- You do have some ideas. You just need to tap into them and expand upon them. Brainstorm!

    Allison -- Disposable diapers were such a great idea for parents. Not sure about the environment, but I think they are a necessity in many ways. We would have had a difficult time living and working on the road if we hadn't had them.

    JoJo -- Lack of funding and know-how is the dream killer for most people. It's sad.

    Jan -- I agree about the giant pool of ideas waiting for someone to come along and fish them out.

    Lee

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  14. Tamara -- "Color Blanks" is what the product is called by the people who now market this idea. I guess similar novels coming out at the same time has a reasonable explanation related to things happening in the arts and society. If something catches on many will follow with their own versions of the idea.

    Cifar -- Following now.

    Karen -- Never too late is a great advice to follow. If we stop dreaming then our mind is dead and our body won't be far behind.

    Robin -- Maybe we can think on things so strongly that we start sending out creativity waves that can influence others. We need to act as soon as we can or just resign ourselves that we've given our idea out to be used by someone else.

    Jennifer -- If fear drives you then that might be a valid force for action.

    Lee

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  15. My brain swims with ideas all the time, it is partly why I started my blog. My main problem these days is the gap between the ideas I have and my physical capacity to undertake them or turn them into a reality is growing.

    Blogging means that the imagination has no bounds, cyberspace is my oyster so to speak. Here I can make weather machines and steam powered life sized godzillas to my hearts content.

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  16. I love it when I can actually turn my dreams into something tangible. I haven't done all of them, of course, but the few I've managed have returned rewards--mostly satisfaction, very little money.

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  17. More times then I like to admit. But, I'm over it now. Ready to tackle dreams.

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  18. Alright -- how are we up to I already?

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  19. I think people can come up with the same idea at the same time. I don't think I've let any pass me by but I seldom think about inventing anything.

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  20. Great post. I try to do something with my ideas, but oftentimes, somebody else beats me to it.
    I clicked to join your blog, and I hope you return the favor. I need my numbers up too. :-)
    Best,
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  21. I am sure there are always more ideas in the think tank!

    My husband says it all the time "there are more ideas in the idea factory, honey!"

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  22. Never had a worthwhile idea I guess and not sure I would have 'gone with it' if I had. Sounds pathetic, not meant to be.

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  23. I suppose that's why I keep some ideas to myself, rather than sharing them. I've always had a ton of ideas, so much so that I could never make most of them a reality. However, when I get excited and passionate about something, I do my best to share my enthusiasm. Even if it helps someone else, it's worth it to see the idea brightened by the light of day.

    M. J.
    A - Z Co-Host
    http://mjjoachim.blogspot.com
    http://effectivelyhuman.blogspot.com
    http://lotsofcrochetstitches.blogspot.com

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  24. Rob -- Have you stolen my weather machine idea? I should have acted on that one back in the 60's when I first thought of it.

    C.Lee -- Satisfaction is nice. Money is better.

    Sydney -- No sense in wallowing in regrets.

    Roland -- You mean "I" as in ideas or inventions?

    Susan GK -- Story ideas are inventions.

    Debi --I'll be over shortly.

    Christina -- It's a big well that many can drink from often.

    Jo -- I'm sure you've had more ideas than you realize.

    MJ -- It builds my confidence to see someone else take my idea and make it work for them. I figure if I thought of that one I can think of another good idea.

    Lee

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  25. Damn! I have an idea that really fires me up. I did let it fall by the wayside.... but in between it just got better & more relevant! I should really find time & go for it!

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  26. I'm curious about what your idea was and the product it actually is now.

    When I was younger, I dreamed of being an artist. It fell by the wayside and I haven't drawn or painted in a while. I have good news though. I am an artist still, but instead of painting or drawing, I make jewelry and knit. I'm still creating beautiful things so in a way my dream came true... just not how I expected it to.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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  27. Hi Lee -- I doubt that someone stole the idea. Think of all the times scientists in different parts of the world have made almost simultaneous discoveries.

    I believe the potential for any new product or a new advance in science or technology exists "out there," and is available for individual interpretation.

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  28. James -- Yes! Don't let a good idea get away from you.

    Patricia -- The product can be googled. It's called "Color Blanks" marketed by Rose Art. It's essentially identical to the idea I conceived in the 80's though they honed it even better. Often what we expect is not they way things actually turn out.

    Patricia -- I don't think anyone stole the idea either, but there were a lot of people who heard my idea.

    Lee


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  29. Awesome post! I also was curious as to what your idea was and saw it after reading though the comments. Googled it and found that my kids have used those before and loved them. Bummer it wasn't your idea, albeit a great one. :)

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  30. This post hit me pretty hard. My fiance is SO close to achieving his dream. One that he has chased after for about 20 years. And what is stopping him? Money. It is heartbreaking to watch him come so close time and time again, only to have it slip away.

    Carrie~Anne at That Dizzy Chick

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  31. I am following my dreams now at long last. I have had lots of good ideas that someone else eventually marketed, would you believe in the 70s I wanted bottled water or flavoured water instead of the highly fizzy sugary drinks I was packing in the fridges at my after school job. Where would I be today if I had had the resources back then to market THAT idea. :) great post

    http://ceciliaaclark.blogspot.com.au

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  32. I am heading towards my dream of being a published author. Though there has been a delay I'm determined not to let it fall by the wayside. I say the biggest reason for not going for it is fear of failure or loss of confidence.

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  33. I believe your premise that there is an idea repository out there. I came up with this great idea and thought, "Oh, I bet I could make alot of money with this!" and then went to research online and found the exact product that I had wanted to design and market. But there was also a time when I sent in a copyrighting portfolio to an ad agency with a few spec ads. Not too long after, my slogan came out in a TV commercial for the same product that I had coined it with. I think that was stolen by the creative director of that agency. But who knows? I think it's a 50/50 toss up for both yours and my suspicion...

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  34. I'm in the process of "going for" my dream... fingers crossed that I don't run out of steam before it really gets off the ground! :D

    The Road We’ve Shared A to Z

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  35. I have lost on a few ideas due to lack or shortage of money. I don't remember losing out on any good idea for any other reason.

    In meetings and discussions, I encourage my team members to speak about their ideas. Since I NEVER poke fun at any idea, people speak out freely. Some of the best ideas are those that the person himself thought impractical or outlandish.

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  36. I'm constantly coming up with idea for magazine articles or book projects that then appear on the market before I get around to them. Sometimes I kick myself, but I try to see it as validation that I have good (and marketable) ideas. I'm not going to run out of them. If anything, it's a curse having more ideas than are possible to complete.

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  37. Dusty -- Yeah and I had some good ideas for the product that Rose Art isn't using yet.

    Carrie-Anne -- Money is often the culprit.

    Cecelia -- In younger days when I thought of bottled water I thought of mineral waters like Perrier. Weird about water now.

    Sheena-Kay -- A lot of us get scared or nervous.

    Angelsbark --We don't really know I guess but I believe in the ocean of ideas.

    W-Mom -- Don't let your dream get away from you!

    Proactive -- Can't agree with you more about imagining everything. There are more creative-funding and crowd-sourcing that can provide funds but that in itself requires creativity and work to make it a success.

    Kelly -- when the well dries up then it's time to worry.

    Lee

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Lee