I hate new ideas. Well, not all new ideas: just other people’s new ideas. At first I thought it was because I was “old” and resistant to change. Then I noticed that whenever I began a conversation with, “I have an idea,” my twenty and thirty something teammates would get this look of terror.
OK, I’m the first to admit I’ve had some pretty bad ideas in my time. That jacket I designed that could be worn upside down, as well as right side up, did not fly. The customers got confused when they tried putting it on. A jacket that needs directions just to get on, well it’s just not right. We moved on.
So when the team approached me with the idea of having home jacket parties, something like Tupperware does, my knee jerk reaction was, “why?” Why would anybody want to lug all those jackets into somebody’s home, spend a night watching people try them on and then have to return them all back to their correct places in the warehouse? And we know that nobody’s going to want to make a profit on grandma so they’d probably end up selling them for cost.
But twenty to thirty seconds later I realized this might be a good idea. The team would be able to get ideas from our end customers. We (and notice I changed it to “we”) could find any flaws in our designs and get inspirations for new ones. The team could design invitations which would give them experience in promoting a product. They could create a buzz in the community. They would learn business concepts like how much their time was worth. The positives kept popping up in my mind.
But the biggest realization I had, was how lucky I was to be surrounded by such energy and creativity. There are a lot of good things about owning a small business, but one of the best rewards is seeing growth, not only in monetary profits, but in knowledge.
So now I say, bring it on. I can take it because I know that any dumb idea you have, I can have dumber. And who knows? The next great, dumb idea might be a jacket that can be worn inside out with removable buttons. Wait. I think that was done already.