Scott Hodge


All You Need is a Good Idea!

Mar 25, 2009

I'm excited to introduce to you a new author by the name of Jay Heyman!   Jay is the author of a 

new book entitled, All You Need is a Good Idea!

I had a chance to read Jay's book flying back from Orange County a couple weeks ago and I couldn't stop underlining, scribbling, and making notes all over the margins.  It's a great book filled with lots of practical stories and advice from a guy who has actually done it!

With that said, I recently had a chance to shoot a few questions over to Jay about his book.  There's some great insight here and I really appreciate Jay taking the time to respond! 

Jay – first and foremost…  Mac or PC?

Mac. I work with art directors and historically they much prefer the graphic capabilities of Macs, although the two platforms are getting more similar, as they pluck off good ideas from each other. I still get a kick out of installing software and seeing three pages of instructions for the PC and only three sentences for the Mac.

Who did you write this book for?

Photo 330
According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 99.7 per cent of all 

employer firms. My book is written for theses small businesses, for what I call the lieutenants of industry, as opposed to the captains. Smaller businesses often don’t have the resources and large
staff to develop their marketing ideas. All You Need Is A Good Idea! will help them learn to create the ideas they need to stand out in the marketplace, build market share, get publicity, appear larger
than they really are and make their competition nervous…while actually having fun.

My book provides a (hopefully) comprehensive guide from generating the first fuzzy notion to creating the final good idea. In a phrase, it is designed to help small companies learn to make their business conspicuous.

Your book is entitled, All You Need is a Good Idea!  Why "good" and not "great" or better yet… "PERFECT"?

While you are waiting for the “world’s greatest” idea, you will stand frozen in apprehension, immobilized by anxiety. You will find yourself conscientiously discarding all the ideas you create, judging them as not being good enough, or a little trite, or not quite clever enough. You will never satisfy yourself sufficiently to actually use one of them. Even President Obama recently commented “We will not let the pursuit of perfection stand in the way of achievable goals.” And he may not even have read my book.

Jay, you make a great point about how a good idea doesn't necessarily require a large marketing budget.  In fact, you even take it a step further and suggest that having a good idea backed by a huge media budget could potentially be a problem.  Why is that?

Too often a hefty advertising budget means you may be tempted to settle for conservative and safe communications, in the hope that the weight of the media will help the message break through. A good idea backed by a huge media budget would actually be wonderful. It is the absence of an idea, the reliance on the clout of the media that is a waste of dollars. (And you can name your own Super Bowl commercials that unfortunately fit this description.)

What do we need to be very clear about before coming up with a good idea?

Being clever for the sake of being clever is never the right approach. You must first thoroughly analyze whom you want to be talking to (your target audience) and what you are trying to convince them of (your strategy). If you are not clear about your destination, how will you ever know you have gotten there?

What are some common enemies to coming up with a good idea?

Committees. Settling for your first idea. Falling in love with a headline. Left-brain management types with colorful charts and imposing graphs that use quantitative methods to make qualitative judgments. The fear that you do not have all the information you need. (Just relax and memorize the Albert Einstein quote I put in the front of my book. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”)

Jay – thanks again for sharing some great insights with my readers!  

Buy the book here.

Visit Jay's blog here.

3 Responses to “All You Need is a Good Idea!”

  1. Sounds like a great book. I particularly latched onto the need for a ‘good’ and not ‘perfect’ idea. As a habitual perfectionist, I know I’ve been paralyzed by what I thought was not a ‘good enough’ idea. The fact is there are plenty of completely average ideas that make it huge, because someone is willing to run with them.

  2. Ted says:

    Wow, some great insight!
    Thanks for sharing some of these nuggets with us!

  3. Jay Heyman says:

    Thanks for the comments. If I had waited for perfection, my book would still be in my computer, not on Amazon.

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