Monday, September 17, 2007

Ideas Are Easy

Here's a brilliant bit of wisdom from Seth Godin:

Padmanabhan wrote me a nice note today, asking why I so freely give away ideas. (It was nice because he thought some of the ideas were actually good ones). I responded that ideas are easy, doing stuff is hard.

Read the whole post here.

This sentiment is really a pithy summary of one of Seth's latest books, The Dip. More and more, I find myself using this philosophy of ideas vs. thinking / The Dip to explain just about all the projects I'm involved in. As a side note, The Dip is an absolute must read, and is a quick read no less.

I find this lesson about doing to be especially true for development. There are two rules I've taken away from this:

  • Everyone loves to talk about how to develop great software. Few will actually do it.
  • It's good that developing software is hard because it makes it harder for your competitors to catch up to the work you are doing. The very fact that you are doing puts you ahead of the competition, which is still focusing on all the great ideas they have.

Those rules above seem to come across as a bit too cynical. Am I being too hard on my craft?

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