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Bounce off Ideas

Originally posted in Medium

When I go to meetups in town, it is always good to chat with entrepreneurs and engineers. Usually at some point of the conversation with them, I will be interested to know more about the ideas they are working on. From my point of view, asking entrepreneurs or engineers what are their current endeavors should excite them. And excited person guarantees interesting conversation. Just ask a seasoned traveller the last exotic journey. Unfortunately, Most of the time I will get answers of different forms of “ehh” or “let me be vague to avoid you stealing my idea(s)”.

In Clione Labs, ideas are always being discussed. We somehow replace gossip in our office small talks with out of the world ideas, because there is not much to gossip with 6 people anyway. Our discussion range from quora like meta-question to specific engineering techniques and software engineering practices. Sometimes it is “how to help our company do X?”, sometime it is “what algorithm can be philosophical and apply to real life?” The question can be always different, but the flow stays the same. We call it “bouncing off idea”.

Whenever we start bouncing off idea, we always keep the idea on the table. How? we keep improving the original ideas without being critical about it. We try to be imaginative about the possibilities of the idea, no matter how absurd it is. Usually it is fun to play with ideas and be exploratory about the ideas. When we reach an apparent end of the road, we will try another idea until we are satisfied. Only by then we are going to implement the idea we are all satisfied in.

What’s good for you to do this? What’s good for company to do this? Creativity is practiced every day. Daily job, even inside a dynamic startup like us, is not always as hard as you think. There will always be less challenging work, like recreating the Design in HTML+CSS, filling up invoice form. Bouncing off idea make sure your creative muscle in your team’s brains are not overwhelmed by day to day routines. It is good for team building too. Save your budget on team building courses and let them bouncing ideas instead. When you hit the wall, the team will be ready to step up and come up with brilliant solution.

Ideas are also got refined and examined with more perspectives, producing more insights. The solution tend to be more satisfying to the team. Everyone is involved and we are happy with what we are building. The happiness always drive us keep doing what we are doing.

It has not been always the same for me. When I first heard the word and start “bouncing”, I really don’t know what I am doing. I shut up. It is not I am afraid my ideas will get stolen, is because I am afraid of the quality of my idea. I am afraid that my ideas suck and get shot down. It is frustrating. Until I read an article about self-confidence, pointing out insecurity hampers creativity a lot. Since then I work on it. Now I can bounce off idea and I am enjoying it.

If you want to be in intellectually challenged in your daily life and help building Double, the next “humanly J.A.R.V.I.S” for every busy people so they can get work done like there is 48 hours a day? Contact us!

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