Moving Ideas Forward

An idea starts like this:

It’s small and simple.  But that’s a problem – it’s too simple, too vague, lacking both detail and action.  To move an idea forward, it needs to be actively pushed along two axes; detail and actionability:

In order to become actionable, i.e. to be able to actually go out and make it real, the idea needs detail, a map, instructions, a plan.  Conversely, as an idea becomes actionable and makes progress, that action should be used as feedback to fill in additional detail.  The healthy progress of an idea moves like this:

Funny enough, many people tend to struggle to move ideas forward for two reasons.

First, they fill in excessive detail without taking any forward action.  The idea becomes captive inside a rigid set of specifications, each so integral and interconnected that should one thing prove wrong, it would break the whole thing:

Second, is the idea that is pushed into action without enough detail.  Pushing a round peg through a square hole, the hail-Mary pass, a dream without a plan, hopelessly flopping around and really not developing into anything meaningful:

If we have problems making meaningful progress on good ideas, it’s probably because we do one or both of the things above.  I wrote this post because I know that lately I’ve fallen victim to spending too much effort on detail and not taking enough action.  It’s been keeping me from making progress on several things that I really want to do.  When I’m stuck, I’m going to come back here and read this.  I’m hoping it will help put things in perspective, and help my ideas progress.