All good ideas are already taken

266 words

I often find myself in a bind, repeating this statement in disappointment. If I come up with good ideas, their implementations already exist. If I come up with unimplemented ideas, they don’t seem that good. It took me a while to understand that there was a logical fallacy in my analysis approach.

The fallacy

If an idea is viable, it’s neither good nor bad, but it is most definitely partially-formed. After conceiving an idea, my first instinct is to look for similar implementations. If I find one that satisfies this unnurtured idea, I have instantly leapt from a prospect to a retrospect. The idea isn’t partially-formed anymore; its implementation formed my understanding of a well-formed version of it.

It isn’t the case with relatively unique ideas. These remain partially formed for quite some time before naturally evolving as I make progress in their direction.


Now after understanding an implementation, the initial state of an idea doesn’t matter. On comparing it hand-in-hand with partially-formed unimplemented ideas, it will certainly look good. As a result, the morale to pursue unimplemented ideas will be significantly low.

Adapting to a better understanding

I started to evaluate implemented ideas based on value my original version offers. If the generated value has the potential to contrast the existing implementations, it’s worth pursuing.

When pursuing unimplemented ideas, I found that its best to come up with minimal implementation. Since the idea evolves with time and work, the prospect may feel insensible at times. Be receptive to feedback from external sources in pursuit of these. Given enough time, things should start coming together.