How about that link bait title, huh? Obviously, somebody who's not a millionaire (yet) and has never met Warren Buffet has no business writing irresponsible titles like that. But, a Trello board just like what I'm going to describe has been useful for me personally, and I think is sound advice for those interested in coming up with "the next big thing" or even just "a next pretty good little thing".
Simply put, create a board where you can jot down ideas, prioritize them, then motivate yourself to take action on them. I do this with an "Idea Incubation" board in Trello. I can quickly put ideas for projects or products in a list when inspiration hits. Periodically I review the list, laugh at some ideas (I still think a fly-tying kit for toddlers is going to be EPIC one day) and others I pull to the top of the list (just wait and see). This gives me a good, prioritized list of things I could do one day, but it doesn't help me get them done.
Here's where Warren Buffet comes in. According to a guy on the internet who claims to have met his pilot one time, Buffet suggests focusing on your top five projects at any given time. This only makes sense: we have a limited number of hours, a limited amount of energy, and a tendency to loose focus. So, I keep only five ideas in a "Top Five" list. Periodically I review this list and move things back to 'Ideas' to make room for something else.
On this board I also keep a "Stinkers" list. This is where I keep ideas I once thought were good, but find are impractical or in retrospect not so great an idea. Keeping these less-than-stellar ideas around, spurs creativity. No, the kanban website for organizing kanban boards isn't worthwhile now that I have Trello, but it does make me think of this other thing....
Finally, A Ready To Start list is where I copy ideas from the top five that I'm ready to take action on. Here, I give them legs by creating checklists or linking to other project boards. This helps focus the top five even further- these are my favorite ideas that I can do something about, and the next steps that need to happen to make them come to life.
I've described the board as a personal board- something the next Zuckerberg can use in their dorm room to think up the next Facebook. But this approach can be handy within an organization as well. Invite team members to add ideas and vote for their favorites, then as an organization focus on the top five things that will make you all millionaires.
You can get started with a board just like this one by following these steps:
- Sign in or register for Trello
- Go to the Idea Incubation Trello Board Template
- Click Show Sidebar -> Menu -> Copy board...
- Follow the instructions to make your very own Idea Incubation board!
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