September 13, 2011

Bringing Good Ideas to Life

"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing." - Elbert Hubbard

I came across this quote the other day, and besides the fact that it focuses on the negative, I found it to be rather inspiring. It really got me thinking and wondering about the number of ideas that never came to fruition simply because the person who thought of it was either afraid of being criticized or because the first person they mentioned it to shot it down.

As interns, you're probably somewhere between knowing everything about your field that the internet and formal education could tell you and just beginning to explore a promising new passion. At your internship, you're likely surrounded by people with the passion, the formal education, the internet researching skills, and years of professional experience. Maybe you don't have those years of experience (yet!) but don't let it stop you from pursuing an idea that you think is really great. And definitely don't give up the first time someone says "That'll never work!" just because they've "been in the biz".

Now, I'm not trying to say that the opinions of professionals are not important because they can have some great advice to help you see your ideas through. Just learn to recognize which opinions are worth taking to heart. 'That'll never work', 'No one would use that', 'That's just not the way the business works' and phrases like that should immediately be responded to with a 'Why?'. If their answer has just as little substance as what they first said, then I would just thank them for their opinion and try talking to someone else.

The best way to find someone who can help is to think about who would benefit most by your idea (after all, it makes sense that they would be the most likely to show some support, right?). Who are you targeting? What problem of theirs are you trying to solve? How are you planning on achieving that? Be able to answer all of these questions and then explain them to these people who would be most interested in your idea.

In the end, it's all about asking the right questions, talking to the right people, and just keeping an open mind. Good luck! :)

Katie Hazard | Digital Artist, User Experience Designer | @katie_hazard
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