We visited a famous paper store in Tokyo and they had a wall filled floor to ceiling with every version of a paper clip. It showed the history and innovations over the years. I stood and admired the collection for a long time, just absorbing all the ideas and versions over the decades. Some I have utilized and others were new to me, even though all of them were basically paper clips.
I thought about all the people, places and papers that were held together by this simple idea. I thought about all the inventive ways people use paper clips, and I thought about all the people who thought of a better version of this simple idea. Amazing to think about all that one idea has brought to the world, the money spent and made developing and manufacturing such a simple thing. Who knew that one idea could spawn such a vast array of options and alternatives over decades?
Sometimes we think our ideas are too simple or too basic to be worthy of any further effort. We prejudge that no one will need what we are thinking about, so we shut ourselves down before we even get started. We come up with all the reasons why it won’t work or why people will not like it, or how we won’t be able to take it to the finish line. Too much time in our heads, too little time in working. I am thankful that whomever invented the first paper clip did not think this way. They move forward despite what those tapes in their head told them.
Maybe your next idea warrants writing down all the reasons it won’t move forward. Write and write and get it all out there. When you are done coming up with all the negative stack the pages together and fasten them with a paper clip, then burn it all and never look back. That’s one more great use for a paper clip!