2013-08-09 / Columnists

IDEAS WANTED

Idea Mondays!
By Rick Horan

So here’s the idea, put an open invitation out there for idea-minded people to meet up at a different Rockaway watering hole every Monday night. No RSVPs. No cost. No commitments. No free food and everyone is responsible for their own bar bill. Just come with an idea, or be prepared to listen to other people’s ideas.

We can offer our opinions as to the commercial viability of an idea, ways to market it and suggestions on how to improve it. Maybe the feedback you receive on your idea will motivate you to develop something you’ve just been thinking about for years.

Unlike the Idea Party that was held about a year ago at the Harbor Light, the format for these get-togethers will be very informal. I would expect the groups to be relatively small, at least to start with, but if/when it grows, we can decide if the format needs to change.

The thing with ideas, and the foundation of the whole Ideas Wanted concept, is that they do not do well in a vacuum. You need to let the air get to them, bounce them off of people, set them free so they can breathe, grow and take on a life of their own.

Idea groups are nothing new. There are many inventor, start-up and entrepreneur clubs that meet regularly in the City. We’re just taking a good idea and bringing it closer to home.

Rockaway people are full of good ideas and rarely shy about sharing their opinions. So I am anticipating lively discussions on a wide range of topics. There are no rules except to keep it positive and friendly.

Crowd-based brainstorming is a powerful tool and can be applied to all sorts of problems and challenges. There are actually several websites that pay people to ponder problems and submit ideas for solutions. On Monday nights we’ll do it for free.

Maybe you don’t have an idea but rather a company and looking for a way to attract more customers, or a product and need feedback on some new pricing strategy you are considering. Or maybe you are just trying to find a better way to stay organized in your professional or personal life. The group can help.

Ideas come in all shapes and sizes and many heads are better than one. Think of it as a group of consultants that don’t hit you with a big bill for their opinions.

Our first “Idea Jam” will take place on Monday, August 12th at The Wharf. Let’s shoot for getting started between 7:30 and 8 PM. Why don’t you come down and check it out and have a couple of beers? Next week we’ll meet somewhere else. Watch this column for details.

Look for the “Ideas Wanted sign” by the bar and join us for some cold beers. Now that’s a good idea!

Hope to see you there! RickHoran@ IdeasImprov.com

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