If you've got an idea worth spreading, I hope you'll consider this random assortment of rules. Like all rules, some are made to be broken, but still...
1. You can name your idea anything you like, but a google-friendly name is always better than one that isn't.
2. Don't plan on appearing on a reality show as the best way to launch your idea.
3. Waiting for inspiration is another way of saying that you're stalling. You don't wait for inspiration, you command it to appear.
4. Don't poll your friends. It's your art, not an election.
5. Never pay a non-lawyer who promises to get you a patent.
6. Avoid powerful people. Great ideas aren't anointed, they spread through a groundswell of support.
7. Spamming strangers doesn't work. Spamming friends doesn't work so well either, but it's certainly better than spamming strangers.
8. The hard part is finishing, so enjoy the starting part.
9. Powerful organizations adore the status quo, so expect no help from them if your idea challenges the very thing they adore.
10. Figure out how long your idea will take to spread, and multiply by 4.
11. Be prepared for the Dip.
12. Seek out apostles, not partners. People who benefit from spreading your idea, not people who need to own it.
13. Keep your overhead low and don't quit your day job until your idea can absorb your time.
10. Think big. Bigger than that.
14. Are you a serial idea-starting person? If so, what can you change to end that cycle? The goal is to be an idea-shipping person.
15. Try not to confuse confidence with delusion.
16. Prefer dry, useful but dull ideas to consumer-friendly 'I would buy that' sort of things. A lot less competition and a lot more upside in the long run.
17. Pick a budget. Pick a ship date. Honor both. Don't ignore either. No slippage, no overruns.
18. Surround yourself with encouraging voices and incisive critics. It's okay if they're not the same people. Ignore both camps on occasion.
19. Be grateful.
20. Rise up to the opportunity, and do the idea justice.
Posted by Seth Godin on January 31, 2010