Ideas Guy

For over a decade I’ve been identified as “the ideas guy”. This is mostly from founding ideasmeetings.org, which I ran for about 7 years in Victoria, BC, and then around 4 years in Vancouver, BC, every week, for about 3 hours per night. This is a public meetup, where anyone was welcome, to share any idea they had, with no filter on subject matter. I tried to ensure, and it was mostly supportive responses with a strong sprinkling of constructive criticism.

I’ve wondered lately, if I’ve collaborated on more ideas than anyone.

I don’t know if anyone else has made that claim, and if so, I’d love to meet them or know about them. I’m writing this with the intention to determine if it’s true, that I’ve heard more ideas than anyone.

As distrust is common, I often took “minutes”, or loose notes that were discussed, or on a lucky night had someone else offer to do it for me. I have minutes from the Victoria chapter, and then two sections from Vancouver as we transitioned from mediawiki to github pages.

Over the years, I’ve hosted ideasmeetings in other cities, and encouraged others to do the same. There have been meetings in Paris, Buenos Aires, Boston, Portsmouth, Seattle, and around the world, although there seems to be no minutes of those — and even close to my home town, I’ve been told the meetings in Toronto often pull in over 100 people yet I’ve never been.

As a result, I think I’ve perhaps heard more ideas than anyone.

I’m open to being proven wrong. If you know anyone that’s likely heard more ideas than me, let me know, I’ve not just listened and learned beyond Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours hypothesis, I’ve provided feedback throughout. This seems to me to be a unique and novel situation, and I’m open to being schooled by anyone who’s done better.

If you’re considering starting an ideas meeting in your city, one thing I noticed is people with a high IQ and low EQ eagerly criticize what they perceive as bad ideas. Ensure this doesn’t happen, even constructive criticism should be limited. Challenge everyone to only support the ideas they hear. Even if an idea you hear is bad, challenge yourself to frame around the challenging parts to make it a good idea, or the best idea it could be considering the base idea — that is what I tried to do and I tried to challenge others to do this as well.