The Law Of Idea Fatigue

Victor Hanna · July 20, 2008 · Short URL:

otherwise know as 'flapping gum syndrome'

Once upon a time, I was walking with a good friend through the streets of NYC.  My friend had come up with what he thought was a great idea at the time, and wanted to share it with me.  He started out telling me the name of the new company he was going to form, aptly to be named 'Paper Chase'.  His mission was to supply every company in Manhattan with boxed photo copy paper.

He waxed on about how he would capture the entire city's need for paper, and soon came to the part about how much he expected to make with the venture.  "I'm then going to take the profits from the paper business, and buy a townhouse Then I'm going to sell the townhouse for a profit, and buy more townhouses with the money, and with the profit I expect to make on those townhouses....".

After hearing this now for almost 20 minutes, I had to interrupt his flapping gum stream. "How about you start with a business license first before you count up your townhouse profits", I'd suggested.

Embarrassed a bit, he acknowledged the suggestion and we walked on in silence.

Nevertheless, my friend never did get the business license and he never did start the paper business.  He basically talked about it so much to everyone he knew, that he got sick of the idea before it even got off the ground.

Every now and then I have this deep sleep dream whereby I am at my office working very hard.  In the dream I am laboriously going through all the paces I would normally experience throughout the day.  When I awake, the last thing I want to do is go to work- I just came from there!  I've already lived through a hard days work it in my head via my dream, and I don't want to do it again.  It's sort of the same concept.

I've a close family member who is a freelance artist in NYC. Every time she gets a new idea of a way to make money from her artwork, she calls up every Tom, Dick and Sally in town, across town and interstate, to tell them how excited she is about the idea and how it's that break she has been waiting for.

Those ideas never get past the telephone wire, because again, she gets sick of the idea just by talking about it so much, like hearing the same song on the radio 500 times.  Each time the idea is spoken to the outside, it causes a leak of good energy and by the time you have made all the rounds, there is nothing left.

I call this the law of 'idea fatigue'.  If you have an idea, aside from getting feedback from a few good sounding boards, limit any useless talk regarding the idea.  By doing so, you build a compression of virgin energy that will help drive your venture.


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