How To Exit Idea Paralysis And Launch Quickly

Ideas are inspiring and galvanizing, but can equally be overwhelming and burdensome.

If you’re not on top of it, ideas can easily land you in a personal limbo where you never bring that startup or new product to life due to the crippling grip of perfectionism.

Maybe you have a notebook brimming with ideas but are waiting for the right circumstances to line up so that you can “properly” launch. Maybe the first steps you need to take are a big orchestration that feels overwhelming to move swiftly on, so the idea has been sitting in your computer for over a year.

You can easily find yourself stuck in an ideas carousel if you let the size of your ideas debilitate your actions. I find myself in this place frequently — there are about 10+ ideas laying in a graveyard under the 3 ideas I’ve actually brought to life.

Idea paralysis to me is a sign that I don’t have the tools in my belt to wrap my head around execution. Or if I know I’ve got it, I put my head down and run through these troubleshooting steps to graduate my ideas into action.

Turn the ego dial down

It’s hard to let go of a brilliant idea once you’ve seen it and created fantasies of how it’ll exist out in the real world.

We become so romanced by an idea or product we’ve conjured that we forget that it doesn’t need to be our starting point — it can be our destination.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the times I stubbornly wanted to bring a certain version of my idea to life had to do with my ego’s obsession with how it made me look, rather than strategy.

If I currently don’t have the resources or finances to create the full manifestation of my idea or product, I look at what the prequel to my final movie, so to speak, looks like and I focus on that.

Make it bite-sized

Sometimes the pilot or go-to market plan is too ridiculously big of an undertaking, so you spend all your time thinking on the idea as a way to avoid execution. Take a step back and figure out what the sample bite of your pilot is and start there.

Do you want to test your pilot on a corporate client, but you don’t know who’d take a chance on a startup just launching? Let a couple of startups use your product for free, rally up glowing testimonials and leverage those to pitch a paying corporate client.

Do you need an app coded from scratch in order to test your product? Create a bootleg version with existing online tools to test the most juicy parts of your idea/product.

Build an obsessive fan base around your bootleg product and use them to fund a crowdfunding push, or as evidence for funding from investors.

For more wisdom that turns your startup chase into a victory lap, get my Friday morning emails, (lovingly called The Crux) in your inbox.



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Sophia Sunwoo

Sophia Sunwoo


I create moneymaking brands with womxn entrepreneurs who refuse to settle for mediocre.