The blue tit syndrome and the cape that turns into a tomato

So, you hit upon a great idea for a business.

It could be anything. Let’s say your genius idea is to make a disposable raincoat made of potatoes which you can plant and it turns into a tomato.

You might think: My idea is unique.

It ain’t.

When you get that inspiration: Act on it.

This is your moment.

Stop talking, start doing.

An idea rarely hits a single person. The brainwave isn’t yours. Ideas come into your head not from your head. What you did good was recognise it.

Your next trick is to make it real.

Or as they say in business school:

                                                                                     execute it 

(which means make the idea come alive, not make it dead… but wrong words is something for another post)

The magic arrival of ideas is best described by the Blue Tit Syndrome. To understand the blue tit syndrome you need to remember (or learn now) that milk used to be delivered door to door by a milkman. And it would come in glass bottles sealed with a foil cap.

Life was good. But that was a hundred years ago.

Then one day in 1921, in Southampton, someone reported seeing a blue tit (this is a little blue and yellow bird) peck through the foil cap to get at the milk.

The idea that a smart (or twisted) bird should work out that if it pecks a hole in some foil on a bottle left on a concrete doorstep it will be able to drink cow’s milk which it will then like… is in itself a crazy idea. Perhaps more crazy than the potato-raincoat idea.

Yet within twenty years every blue tit in the country was at it.

But here’s the odd thing – the milk-top pecking didn’t spread virally. It didn’t emanate from Southampton. It wasn’t a trick learned by the population gradually. It arose suddenly and independently in random towns and villages all over the British Isles. No-one knows why.

And this is the way ideas land. They arrive in clusters. All of a sudden. In art. In business. In technology. In blue tits.

When they come to you:

Recognise it. Make it real. Do it now.

…and one more thing. If you want to invent a raincoat made of potatoes that can turn into a tomato; It’s too late. Someone already did that http://spudcoat.co.uk/

 

 

 

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