Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

 Ideas aren’t rare. They come to most of us oftener than you’d think. What is rare is getting an idea that will work for somebody given his specific set of constraints. Even rarer is someone who will pursue such an idea when it comes along.

As the world turns virtual and the internet gathers its reins, ideas are taking on a whole new hue.  Today, the need and demand for fresh ideas that’d work is incredible. You want to be an entrepreneur? What’s your business idea? You want to write your next post? What will it be about? Ah! You are tweeting? Is your next tweet retweetable? Ideas, ideas and ideas.

Generate great ideas

There are good ideas, there are really good ideas and then there is the one best idea. To find the latter you need a number of good and really good ideas and one person, no matter how creative, can only come up with a handful of good ideas. In this post we’ll  see where most good ideas come from and how you can get a continuous supply of them to make your online presence a success.

Before we move on…

…it’d be great if you could take 4 minutes of your time and have a look at this video. This post is an off shoot of this video based on Steven Johnson’s book, Where Good Ideas Come From. If you cannot spare the time, feel free to move on to the next part of this post.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU?feature=player_detailpage]

Key Takeaways From The Video

  • Great ideas come in small hunches and when one or more of these hunches collide they form an idea bigger than themselves
  • The greatest driver of innovation has been an increase in connectivity – the ability to reach out and exchange ideas with other people (To be able to borrow other people’s hunches, combine them with ours and create something new)
  • The internet is destructive, but it is also great. It can be used to build and move our own ideas.
  • Chance favors the connected mind

Keeping these takeaways in mind, here is how you can revamp your online presence with fresher ideas:


Borrow others’ tweets, play with them and create something new. Discover new ideas online – fresh posts, outstanding discoveries, interesting videos and share them. Don’t follow people for the heck of it or you’ll face a cluttered, essentially useless timeline. Follow awesome tweeps, whose fresh tweets can give you ideas for your own. Use a twitter management app to keep your following list manageable.


Follow popular bloggers on social networks, subscribe to the best blogs in categories that are similar to your blogs. Check comments on popular blog posts – they’ll give you ideas for new blog posts that can be just as popular. Scourge forums and discussion boards for newer ideas. Check the auto-suggestions in Google’s search box, these will tell you what people are searching for.

Online Entrepreneurship:

Use social networks to connect with thought leaders, other entrepreneurs and communities of like-minded individuals. Visit forums to gauge needs and pain points – these will help you come up with ideas the have potential for success. Search for half baked ideas that will fit in well with the hunch you already have. Quora is a great place to find intellectual people, and listen to people points on various topics.

These are, of course, just ideas. You can use the lessons learned from the video to generate new ideas for a host of different outlets. Connect, use your connections, collide your hunches with other hunches and create tweets, blog posts, businesses that will set your online popularity soaring. Remember, good ideas are a product of chances, but as Steven says, “Chances favor the connected mind.

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COMMENTs ( 5 )

  1. says

    ” Ideas aren’t rare. They come to most of us oftener than you’d think. What is rare is getting an idea that will work for somebody given his specific set of constraints. Even rarer is someone who will pursue such an idea when it comes along.” Great lines………
    nice post..,but getting great ideas are little bit tough enough

  2. says

    It is tough to get ideas, but those are some good places to start. By fishing around in the existing we are often inspired to create or write. That is how I find my post ideas, either that or a problem I am having

  3. says

    There is no rule of thumb for ideas to come but it is confirm when you want them to come they don’t and when you don’t wait for them they come in huge numbers. That is why one should always be ready to receive them and jot them down for future use. Great post Urooj, good start.

  4. Amal Rafeeq says

    Hi there Urooj,
    Seeing you’re Gravatar face over here for the first time and you nailed your entry. A job well done.
    So, that’s where from those ideas came. Allright. Roger that boss :)

    Thanks. Cheers!