How to avoid the ideas generation trap?

This talk was taken from, the 99% is a research arm and think tank which takes its name from Thomas Edison’s famous quote that “genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration,” hence their efforts are to study and drive professionals who constitute the 1% to deliver their ideas to full maturity that requires the 99%.

In this talk, Scott Belsky Founder & CEO of Behance addressed the people living in the 1% where once you get an idea in your mind and you fall in love with it you spend huge amounts of your time with this new love having many meetings, staying up all night obsessing over it. Eventually however, when the time comes for execution people tend to plummet into low motivation as they enter the project management phase.

He sheds light on how many ideas move from a place of high motivation to the bottom of the curve and how many carcusses (dead bodies) of great ideas are lying at the bottom of this curve because many do not exert effort to see the idea to the finish or long enough until it starts bringing in income for example.

So instead of focusing on it and executing we like living in the initial motivation so we return to our feeling of a “high” once a new idea comes up and we go through this high over and over again and never really accomplish any one of those ideas.

So he introduces the “Creatives’ Compromise”, where many of the successful people he’d interviewed said they had to make a compromise in their lives and discipline themselves of what they naturally tend to do which is move from one idea to another.

The video will introduce how:

· You SHOULD seek restraints: like budget, timelines, deadlines and value them because they can help you get off track.

· You should think BIG but act SMALL: breaking down the big chunks into smaller manageable chunks of time ( not goals). Then making them something BEAUTIFUL to look at everyday where computer-based project management systems unfortunately do not support this.

· You should Build a SHORT TERM reward system, because it is something people have depended on a lot as they were growing up, so not seeing the fruits of one’s ideas early in the process is problematic. Scott shares stories of some solutions to this.

· You should embrace and WELCOME SKEPTICS in the creative process rather than do the reverse.

· You should SEEK COMPETITION; it may sometimes help you push yourself to set an end in sight.

· You should SHARE IDEAS LIBERALLY in order to STAY ACCOUNTABLE to them, keeping ideas a secret can actually mean that it dies in your mind.

He concludes how the creative process is 1% creativity and comes naturally while the 99% is ACQUIRED DISCIPLINE where one needs to take the time to develop and master the acts of organization, community and leadership to push ideas forward. He calls on people to focus on the 99%.

What’s your opinion about that?


Dalia Said

PR Officer

Dalia is ex-CEO of AIESEC Egypt, holding a Master in Education from Harvard. She works on establishing partnerships with different stakeholders in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, while adding an intellectual touch to our communications and activities.

By Abdo Magdy

Founder & Storyteller at Egypreneur


  1. Breaking down the big Projects into Tangible increments (i.e. Subprojects) . Again breaking down increments into Milestones and Tasks are considered to be a fundamental issue in Project Management.

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