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Sell your ideas - Build a 'Case'

Profile Matt Pengelly - 2022-01-17 - last update: 2022-08-07

Who is this article for?

Folks who want to learn how to share their ideas more effectively with the world or their peers.

Your ideas need to be “sold” to others if you want them to care

The buyers don’t always pay with money, sometimes they purchase your idea with their time, energy, or willingness to change. Convincing people to adopt new ideas isn’t easy, so make sure you do your best to make it easy for them. Otherwise you may not see the uptake you’re looking for, even if the idea is sensible. This means that you have to “sell” your ideas.

Almost everything can be viewed as a sell.

Examples of sells

  • Want more contributors on your github repository? Sell. Make the repository attractive to newcomers, useful for other people, simple to understand and contribute.
  • Want to establish new coding best practices for your team? Sell. Create a writeup that explains how/what/why, and shows how these coding patterns are useful for more then just one scenario.
  • Want your friends to start doing a new activity together? Sell. Show them how it can be fun & exciting, how its easy to start and how it’ll deepen your bond.
  • Want more meaningful relationships? Sell. Invest more in the relationship yourself, try to understand the other person, share more of yourself with them (if they’re receptive).

In all theses scenarios we’re building something to make your ideas more attractive. I like to call that building a case.

What does it mean to build a case?

  • Make something that lasts, a writeup, diagram, some code, or an automation. Don’t only use verbal communication, it doesnt stand the test of time and needs repeating anytime someone new comes around. Also, ideas can often be expressed more completely through non-verbal communications like diagrams, examples, charts.
  • Demonstrate how it can help the adoptee if they take on your idea.
  • Make it easy for others to understand the motivations of the idea.
  • Show that the idea is popular in other spheres if possible.
  • Announce your work, no matter how good your ideas are, if you dont share them, far fewer people will notice and adopt them.

You need to build a case for your ideas to be adopted. Its up to you to convince others why they should adopt a new idea, even for “sensible” ideas there isn’t always a reason for someone to switch from what theyre currently doing, so build a case, make it attractive, and encourage people to participate in whatever it may be.