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MLA Full: "A Thought is Not an Idea." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 9 April 2021,
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Thanks to Simon Vin, the brain behind "" - You can see more of his work here:

You can apply for the product lead / cofounder position here:

I've heard people talk a good deal about how ideas are useless without implementation, but I don't hear many people talking about the fact that an idea isn't even an idea if it doesn't have both an objective and a path to achieve that objective.

It used to be when someone asked me, "How do you become a YouTuber / TikToker / whatever" I would say, "I don't know, I did that 15 years ago, it's different now."

And hey, that's true...but it's not useful. What I say now is, "What do you actually sounds like you have a thought, and that thought is 'that looks like a cool job.' But I need you to have an idea...what's your objective, and what are some things you've noticed that might help you get there."

The other thing that is more and more obvious to me every year is that all three of these things...thoughts, ideas, and implementation are deeply effected by available time, money, relationships, skills, and knowledge.

As I've gotten more into the world of business, every year I have more money, relationships, skills, and knowledge, and less time. Which makes me think, "Hey, I should probably be spreading these resources out among people who have more time." But that takes TIME! And that's a useful thought "Hey, I have noticed that as you go through life, most resources increase except free time."

And that makes me think about how inequality functions, and how older people have hoarded all kinds of capital, not just financial. And that makes me not want to be that person. But those are all thoughts...a way to actually fix it would be a course or book (or just YouTube channel) that shares that knowledge. But because I don't have the time for it, I'd need help with it, and since help would cost money (unless I was treating it like a charity) it now needs new thoughts about how something like that would be marketed, shared, and produced.

And then that creates thoughts about whether my insight would actually be valuable in a constantly changing world.

Regardless, it becomes very clear that my thoughts are deeply informed by my experiences and knowledge, my ideas all take into account acquired capital and being able to say, "Oh, this is solvable with the amount of money I currently have" is a remarkable power, and implementation is much easier having run a couple businesses for ten years...but, like, sharing and acquiring that knowledge is hard...which I guess is why business school exists?

I wouldn't know.

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Good Morning, John, I'm not sure if you know about days since Hank Green started a new It's a joke among some people on Twitter who have noticed that the amount of time between when I start a new thing and when I start another new thing is often not a long period of time. Counter currently stands at 7 days since we launched the life's little lies TikTok. Now, this is a funny thing but it's also something that I'm simultaneously like proud of and terrified of. Like what exactly is wrong with me. And the website actually has a tiny little link at the bottom that shows you all of the things I've done. Terrifying, but an impressively long list, on the other hand, it's riddled with failure in 2020, for example, there are 11 listed projects only 4 of them are still like existing things though three of them were jokes, like my only fans for pelican pictures.

Anyway, because I have this habit people often ask me about like how do you get ideas? how do you start things? and I can't tell you how to have an idea but I can tell you what an idea is which is a thing that I think a lot of people get wrong. So let's walk through the 3 major stages of intentional creation: the thought, the idea, and the thing.

Thoughts are not ideas, here's an example of some thoughts: 'gosh we sure do need to raise a lot of money for the maternal centre of excellence in sierra Leone', 'creators at seem to be having a lot of success with socks lately', 'wow I am amazed by the number and quality of independent artists out there'. Those are not things that have anything to do with each other but more importantly, they're not going anywhere. They're not pointing in a direction. I find it useful to have a list of thoughts that might go somewhere. I don't know where they're going and no you can see it, it is a silly place.

Ideas are when you combine some thoughts together and at the end of the combination, you have an objective you would like to accomplish and a way to get there, some kind of path. For our example, an idea might be ' what if there was a sock subscription where every month you got a sock from a different independent artist and 10 per cent of the profit went to charity. There's a goal there and there's a bunch of thoughts that we think are true that are gonna help us get to that goal. We have combined our thoughts together to have an objective and a way to get to it. And then there's the part where you make the idea a thing, the implementation, the work.

The Awesome Socks Club has now donated over 200,000 dollars to the maternal centre of excellence in Sierra Leone but getting it to this point and continuing to keep it alive is a whole thing. Like there's a lot of people involved. I just happen to know a person here in Missoula, Montana who's in the sock business. Like, I don't know if we could've done it without her.

And of course, in the act of implementation, your idea changes. Like, we originally thought that our artists were gonna be one of our main marketing vehicles but then we realised that we didn't want to share all of the socks, we wanted most of them to be surprises and it would be weird for artists to be marketing a thing that they couldn't show to people. So we changed our marketing strategy to include a bunch of TikTok people who I had met recently.

And now it's its own existing thing but it's still an idea. But also, and this is often the case in how businesses happen, it started to spin off new ideas, like we have this thing now and it's working so what else can we do with that?

Which is why, I've never done this before, I'm looking for a product lead and co-founder for a new business. There's an application for that job in the description. Let people who you think are cool and interesting and might want to work on something exceptionally weird know about it.

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.