Best 144 Quotes & Tweets on Finding ideas

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1

For the last week, I have started each day by writing “What do I want?” at the top of a blank page. It’s surprising how useful it is to keep asking yourself this question. Each time, my answers get more precise. Once I know what I want, I translate the answer into action steps.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

2

In a world where information is abundant and easy to access, the real advantage is knowing where to focus.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

3

The best startup ideas come from the intersection of new technology and an old human need.

Sahil Lavingia

Sahil Lavingia

@shl

4

Vision is the bottleneck of talent. Most talent is wasted because people do not clearly know what they want. It’s not a lack of effort, but a lack of direction. There are many capable people in the world, but relatively few that focus on what matters.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

5

Anytime you think your idea is unique, you just haven't read widely enough.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

6

How to see opportunities others miss: 1) Study a totally different field, then return to the original problem. Apply insights from other domains. 2) Invert the problem. Try to achieve the opposite. 3) Find ways to engage with hyper-creative people. Their thinking will rub off.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

7

I think people should do less research before building an idea, not more. It’s much easier to find reasons not to do something, than to find reasons to do it. Too much research will kill the enthusiasm behind any idea, especially the ones that end up changing the world.

Sahil Lavingia

Sahil Lavingia

@shl

8

Ideas are never in short supply, focus is.

Jason Fried

Jason Fried

@jasonfried

9

The future is not hard to see. You've already seen it. You just didn't realize it, because you dismissed it as a toy.

Paul Graham

Paul Graham

@paulg

10

There are four types of entrepreneurs: 1. Innovators - the person who invents the burrito 🌯 2. Remixers - the person who creates Chipotle 🌶 3. Scalers - the person who scales it to 100+ locations 🏢 4. Optimizers - the person who dials in margins and process 🔧

Andrew Wilkinson

Andrew Wilkinson

@awilkinson

11

Innovators are T-shaped. They are experts in a narrow field. But they also have a big intellectual toolbox, which offers new entry points and lines of attack for solving problems. Read widely. As the saying goes, "Know something about everything and everything about something."

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

12

Creative ideas happen when you stop thinking about what others will think.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

13

Before you dream about the view from the summit, ask yourself if you're willing to keep your head down, focus on the path, and spend your life walking up the side of a very big hill. It takes years of walking to earn a minute at the top.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

14

“The four idea principles are: (1) Find a human need, an unsolved problem (2) Master all of the essentials of the problem (3) Give a new “twist” to an old principle (4) Believe in your idea—and act!” —Bruce Lee

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

15

How to generate great ideas as a team: 1) Brainstorm privately. Any idea goes. Avoids groupthink. 2) Compile ideas, but hide the sources. Avoids "highest paid person" winning. 3) Discuss as a group to find the best answer. 4) Reveal the winner so the right person gets credit.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

16

One form of innovation is originality. Another form is synthesis. People often focus so much on being original that they overlook the value of synthesizing ideas from different sources. There's a lot of value in connecting previously unconnected ideas.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

17

Giving your best effort does not mean simply working harder at what you were already doing. It can mean that, but it often means searching harder for a better way to do things. Giving your best effort involves execution and strategy.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

18

Sources of new ideas: - Extended conversations with others - Reading broadly (new fields) - Detailed (in the weeds) knowledge - Time away from the computer - Things that divide people - Talking with relatively new people to a craft - Traveling - Old ideas/books

Shane Parrish

Shane Parrish

@ShaneAParrish

19

Great ideas come from two places: solitude and conversation.

Sahil Lavingia

Sahil Lavingia

@shl

20

If you’re struggling to come up with a business idea, remember there are only four different types of utility: form utility, place utility, time utility, and possession utility.

Sahil Lavingia

Sahil Lavingia

@shl

21

It is crucial to keep an open mind—particularly when you are young. The world is big and the space of possible approaches is vast. It is unlikely the first idea you come across is also the optimal idea. The most important prison to avoid is that of a narrow mind.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

22

When choosing a startup idea, you must be able to check either of these boxes [ ] Truly novel (nobody else has tried) [ ] 10X better product The absolute best check both. 99% of startups check neither. A good pitch is sometimes a strong story explaining how to get the 1st ☑️

Garry Tan

Garry Tan

@garrytan

23

Startup idea: A dating app that matches you based on your taste in music, movies, and books.

David Perell

David Perell

@david_perell

24

As a general rule: Broad ideas influence more people. Specific ideas influence people more.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

25

There's always a technology frontier somewhere, and one of the best reasons to go work there is that it's where the smartest and most interesting people congregate.

Sam Altman

Sam Altman

@sama

26

A lot of great ideas look easy and obvious in retrospect, but it's still somehow enormously difficult to figure out the first time someone does it. It's an easy way to trivialize important contributions. If it was so obviously good, why did no one else do it?

Sam Altman

Sam Altman

@sama

27

A/B testing culture guiding product is a clear signal the company is out of new ideas.

Brian Norgard

Brian Norgard

@BrianNorgard

28

Idea skepticism in a nutshell: (1) Yeah but have you heard of X company that's doing it? (2) What if Google/Amazon does it? (3) I wouldn't personally use it (4) Here's a history of everyone that failed (you will too) (5) It's a crowded space already Don't let it demoralize you.

Suhail Doshi

Suhail Doshi

@Suhail

29

A secret for discovering really great things: look for things that are said to have a "cult" following. Sometimes this is literally true, but other times it's because the thing is genuinely great, but not everyone knows yet.

Paul Graham

Paul Graham

@paulg

30

When you copy best practices, you also copy unseen errors.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

31

Your startup probably won’t work. Pick a problem you’d be proud to tell friends about 10 years from now, even if it fails. The worst failure happens when founders spend years grinding on a problem they don’t care about & finally admit this to themselves when things fall apart.

Jeff Morris Jr.

Jeff Morris Jr.

@jmj

32

Very hard to learn to say no to the pretty good ideas to save focus for the great ones.

Sam Altman

Sam Altman

@sama

33

Conversation is usually a first draft of your thoughts. If true, we should be more gracious with people in conversation. In writing, we actively encourage people to ignore quality and explore ideas in the first draft. In conversation, if people make one misstep, we blast them.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

34

I’m usually terrified people will hate my writing. My only saving grace is how I direct that fear. I use it to motivate me to find better ideas and share more useful examples rather than allowing it to prevent me from sharing at all. Fear is the gas pedal, not the brake.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

35

If you want to write more, I have some ideas for you. If you're stuck, write a summary. Summarize long books and complicated papers. By doing so, you’ll learn fast and attract a smart audience of readers.

David Perell

David Perell

@david_perell

36

Fulfilling, lucrative, low-risk. Pick two.

Sahil Lavingia

Sahil Lavingia

@shl

37

The best consumer product people I know often come from random walks of life. They are not CS grads from top universities. They didn’t start their careers as Google PM’s. They have unique backgrounds (education, career path, hometown) that make them view the world differently.

Jeff Morris Jr.

Jeff Morris Jr.

@jmj

38

All information is “new” the first time you hear it. When you come across an idea and think, “Isn’t that obvious?”... it just means you learned it earlier in life. The curse of knowledge is that you underestimate how powerful “obvious” ideas can be to anyone for whom it is new.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

39

Each day creates surface area for new opportunities. The longer you live, the more ideas, people, and options you encounter. Without active pruning, the natural path of any to-do list is to grow. As a result, a key skill in life is deciding what shouldn’t be done.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

40

The only way to know if someone will pay for something is to put a price on it and see if they buy it. Asking “Would you pay $25 for this?” won’t get you an answer - it’ll get you a false sense of security (or insecurity). Why? It costs nothing to say “yes”.

Jason Fried

Jason Fried

@jasonfried

41

The qualities of the most powerful ideas in history: (1) They align with reality and the truth of how the world actually works. (2) They have broad applicability and can be used in a wide range of circumstances. (3) They are predictive and not just explanatory.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

42

One way (admittedly not the best way) to find startup ideas is to ask what organizations would be good to compete with. Universities, for example, are dream competitors. They're so inefficient. But the best of all may be governments.

Paul Graham

Paul Graham

@paulg

43

First, search widely. Then, eliminate ruthlessly. Finally, work obsessively on what remains.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

44

1. Write to get terrible ideas out of your head. 2. Keep writing to get average ideas out of your head. 3. Keep writing to get brilliant ideas out of your head.

Jack Butcher

Jack Butcher

@jackbutcher

45

Sleeping on it never hurts.

Jason Fried

Jason Fried

@jasonfried

46

Not only can most things wait, most things should. You either can’t stop thinking about them, or those thoughts fade away. Let time do some work for you.

Jason Fried

Jason Fried

@jasonfried

47

For 99% of entrepreneurs, I think a good filter for business ideas is: 1) Is someone already doing this? 2) Only do it if the answer is yes. So much time is wasted building "something new" in markets that don't exist. Instead, find new ways to serve old markets.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

48

For ideas to truly stick, we must make contact with them repeatedly.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

49

The result of creativity and innovation is new ideas, but the cause of creativity and innovation is more ideas. The person with a bigger intellectual toolbox has more entry points and additional lines of attack to solve problems. Read widely. Explore broadly. Then apply.

James Clear

James Clear

@JamesClear

50

My favorite framework for new business ideas: "Find a market that thrives on its lack of transparency and make it transparent." My favorite entrepreneurs all have their own frameworks to develop new ideas. When you adopt a framework, the creative process becomes much easier.

Jeff Morris Jr.

Jeff Morris Jr.

@jmj