Kibitzing Samurai

In the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of working with several friends on projects they’re thinking about. I’m merely a glorified kibitzer, but the opportunity to think through a variety of apps and business models has proven immensely educational.

From past experience, I know this process can get a little torqued. Feedback is taken personally that shouldn’t be. When it comes to this, here’s what I say:

I respect you immensely, otherwise I wouldn’t work with you. But I have no respect for ideas. Not yours, not mine, not anybody’s. Think of me as a samurai that cuts down ideas no matter who holds them dear. The ideas that manage to survive? Those ideas I have respect for.

This notion informs all the product work that I do. It causes an immense amount of pain. But I believe it leads to better products. After all, ideas are worth little except to the extent that they inform and guide our execution. The wrong ideas guide us nowhere.