Got Ideas? - A Review

PXP has done a lot of projects. We’ve worked on so many different types of projects it’s honestly hard to keep track of them all these days. But every one of them has the same thing in common: they all started out as ideas.

One of my good friends, Scott Waddell, has been an ally and inspiration across PXP’s storied career -- and for good reason: he’s one of the most ambitious people I know. As a guy running companies, administrating from a number of board committees, and seeing countless ideas become projects and products, you’d think he’d be all bricked up.

But no, he’s our favorite kind of crazy and has carved enough time out of his busy days to team up with another friend, Justin Jones, to write a book on the side.

Got Ideas -- How To Turn Your Ideas Into Products People Want To Use

When I heard he was writing it, I couldn’t wait. It’s like hearing that Coca Cola is going to release their exact mix formula or KFC revealing their spice recipe -- Scott and Justin were going to publish the secret sauce that makes them so successful.

It’s all about ideas and how with enough work they can become real tools in a world that’s desperately in need of them.

The book starts out candid -- a staple detail of both Scott and Justin -- and tells you that this is NOT a comprehensive how-to-make-a-project manual. It’s an experience-backed set of guidelines that will help shape and polish your idea into something more worthwhile than just an idea.

Because they don’t beat around the bush there:

“We hear it all the time: ‘I have this great idea!’ And we always respond the same way: ‘What have you done about it?’ If the response is ‘Well, nothing’ or ‘I’m waiting for a partner to come along,’ we know the person isn’t serious.”

You MUST act on it.

But acting on an idea can be terrifying. There’s plenty of odds that say it’ll fail, that it won’t sell, or even get shown up by something more polished.

Both of them know this and so it’s no surprise that the first few sections on the book are designed to encourage and advise you through those rough waters. Vision, Research, and finding your methodology of iteration are all things that might sound impossible to learn but Got Ideas? is there to ease your fears and more importantly spur you forward.

You’ll notice that their philosophy of iteration looks a lot like last week’s article because it’s an idea that I learned from working with him.

Later on through the book, their advice helps talk you through team building, knowing the value of your business model, and becoming your own boss. Questions about balancing your work-life with your products is a point they insist on. Neither of them recommend you sell your soul to an idea -- your family, health, and sanity are just as important.

Got Ideas? is the book I wish I had back when I started up as an independent contractor. Not only would having this help me with the odd products I made for myself, it would have been an incredible aid as a partner and developer for other products. The insight gained from these two powerhouses of innovation is priceless -- an investment you can’t be without if you’ve got a great idea.

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