Hanging out in dorm room, listening to Dark Side of the Moon is a rite of passage, or at least it used to be. It was easy to get lost in those psychedelic riffs, spacey hooks, and mind-blowing jams while doing nothing more than chilling out and starting at a tie-died sheet on the ceiling. And while his name and face are gone forever I can still remember the dude who harshed my mellow, “Man, that’s totally easy to play! I could do that on my guitar!”
Often in life you’ll miss the opportunity to say the perfect thing at the right time, but this wasn’t one of those moments. The words came out of my mouth almost instantly, “Yeah, but did you do it first?”
People have a bad habit of using words like “obvious” or “simple” as a way to put something down. But if you can come up with an idea that’s so simple and straightforward that people’s first reaction is “I could have thought of that myself,” it’s usually a good thing. Creating something that people can “get” instantly is hard to do, and making something that feels so perfect that it’s part of the natural order of the universe is even harder.
Ideas like that can turn the world on it’s head, and if you look at what makes a big hit big there’s usually an underlying simplicity to the idea. Steve Jobs is the master of the “obvious idea” (usually coupled with incredible product design). He’s managed to sell society the simple over and over again. How about Harry Potter? A “Wizard’s School” seems like a good concept no matter how you slice it.
Sure there’s more work to be done once the concept has been discovered, but just because something is obvious doesn’t mean that it isn’t time to make some money.