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Inspiration: Visionaries and nut-cases...

You will have both visionaries and nut-cases using your product. It's very hard to tell them apart.—Cindy Alvarez. 

Do you have ideas that are crazy? Are they visionary ideas or are they just crazy? It’s hard to tell sometimes. After all, crazy ideas don’t seem so crazy after the fact. Who would have thought that Apple could re-invent the mobile phone? Sure, it seems obvious now but it wasn’t when they began. And the idea of pursuing consumers instead of their core business buyers probably seemed quite logical to the folks at Blackberry. Oops.

New ideas—crazy or not—meet huge resistance internally. “We tried that once and it didn’t work” is a common response. The key is to examine carefully your unique ability to solve this problem. Do you have abilities that you didn’t have years ago? Do you have an innovation that wasn’t available before?

After all, ideas that were once crazy seem quite normal today.

When faced with a crazy idea, get it into the market as quickly as you can. Share it with some of your best customers. Make sure you really understand their problem. Get them to explain in detail how they might use your idea to improve their business.

And remember, not every customer is a good customer. Not all customer are visionaries. Some are just nuts.

What’s your idea? Is it crazy? Ask a customer.

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