Creative wall no.1

Ben Lindsay
February 27, 2021

The last week has been interesting...

Honestly, I very naively thought that searching for something compelling and ambitious enough for me to work on was going to be easier, how wrong was I. I think this is due to a mental block I have around spending time doing hard thinking. I will quickly push it off and defer in place of some ‘actual work’, whereby I build a system to sort ideas that I don’t yet have, or do some research, answer emails.

This block seems to be stronger at my desk, and it’s the same for writing. I usually try to write on the bus or go to a quiet area of whatever building I’m in so I’m alone with my thoughts and time. It’s almost like being seen to be idle or thinking look negative to me, which would make sense.

But anyway, I found coming up with ideas quite difficult at the start of the week and hit a bit of a motivational lull. I was spending a lot of time looking at my screen as opposed to filling in boxes in my spreadsheet of ideas, and this really frustrated me. Around Wednesday, I decided I needed a change and took a slightly different approach.

The system from my last post recommended starting with markets where you have a connection or interest, and then moving onto ideas, rather than the more traditional problem to idea approach, a bit like the below;

Interests → Markets → Ideas

I still feel this is better than starting with problems, but for me, jumping from markets straight to ideas was too much of a creative leap. So I modified the flow a little bit to this;

Interests → Markets → Problems → Ideas

This means I’m still ideating from a market where I hopefully have a good founder market fit, but the gorge between me and ideas is a little narrower. This helped a lot.


This week’s plan is to finish building the list of ideas to a minimum of 40 concepts, and then start to cut them down as quickly a possible to around 3. I’ll do this using the ranking criteria from my last post, striking off anything that is anywhere near a maybe. Hopefully this will give me a base of 3 decent ideas to start testing.

However, one thing I’ve been thinking about this week is that this process isn’t really a defined ‘2 weeks and done’. It is likely something I’ll carry on after I narrow down to my 3 surviving ideas; because they’re probably not going to be a best ones I come up with.

You might think that there is no point starting to test ideas that I probably won’t continue on with or that aren’t the best possibly ideas. But this is all a learning process, and how am I to know which ones are best? Whether I choose to work on them or not, the experience can unearth things I wouldn’t have known before, or flaws in my thinking and process around testing. Flaws that I can rectify to make sure whatever I do choose, is for bulletproof reasonings.

To be continued...

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