This is my 2nd time reading this article and I got a complete different perspective from it. The last time I read this was 3 years old. So much have happened for the past 3 years which could be the reason why I’m having a different opinion on it.
In short, the book is communicating to you that no idea is original, all ideas are just remix of one another. People improves on an idea and others improve it in the next iteration. This is innovation.
In the past, I keep thinking that I need to have an original idea to start something. For example. I wanted to build a bill-splitting app but there were already quite a few on App Store. So I did not finish it. The same is true for a bus arrival app. In the end, no much was build.
Now taking in the idea, maybe at the start I could have copy any existing app that I want to do and slowly improve it. Beside improving it, I can also add to its strong point on what other apps are weak in. This will help me get started and slowly build up my features for the app.
The most important thing here is to get started. If we keep thinking about how to start or how to be original, we can never get started.
Here are a list of things that the book is recommending to do to build up your ideas bank. Go ahead and steal, but remember to improve on it.
- [ ] “Talk a walk
- [ ] Start your swipe file
- [ ] Go to the library
- [ ] Buy a notebook and use it
- [ ] Get yourself a calendar
- [ ] Start your logbook
- [ ] Give a copy of this book away
- [ ] Start a blog
- [ ] Take a nap”
Excerpt From: Kleon, Austin. “Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.”