Pitching ideas is different than pitching an idea.
Pitching an idea is saying, "what if we made a digital music device?"
Pitching ideas is saying, "What if we made a digital music device that had a screen and a round clicker and you could plug it into your laptop and download and upload music onto it?"
The first option-- pitching an idea-- leaves lots of room for the imagination to get on at an entry level. You say "digital music device" and there's lots of space in your mind to run around with lots of different possibilities. You pitch the ideas of the second sentence and, with every idea, you narrow other people's opportunity to contribute to the conversation.
Most of the time when you want to bounce an idea off of someone, you're really wanting to bounce ideas off someone. Recognize that and simplify your ideas into the most basic idea. That gives people more room to play. Sometimes they'll go right where your ideas are-- which is great because now you're on the same page. Often times people will surprise you with something better. Either way, you'll both own an idea that you got to build together, rather than expecting them to jump onto ideas you're already running with.
By the way, I don't do this very well. But every time I do everyone is better off for it.
So when you can, don't pitch ideas (even if they're AMAZING). Scale it back and just pitch an idea, and then watch something amazing happen in front of you.
Posted on Mon, May 3, 2010