Ideas often come to people in the shower.
Essayist and programmer Paul Graham realized that the idea one thinks about when allowed to think freely—in the shower, for example—is more than just a quiet obsessions. It’s a “Top idea,” and it influences every other thought, too. Here’s how…
Actually, what Graham argues in his excellent essay is that if you’ve got a top idea in your head, that idea is getting all kinds of free, enthusiastic thinking that other ideas aren’t getting. That can be fine if it’s a good idea that comes from a good place, but all too often, Graham writes, we find ourselves letting non-priorities become our top ideas.
I’d noticed startups got way less done when they started raising money, but it was not till we ourselves raised money that I understood why. The problem is not the actual time it takes to meet with investors. The problem is that once you start raising money, raising money becomes the top idea in your mind. That becomes what you think about when you take a shower in the morning. And that means other questions aren’t.
Graham’s full essay is definitely worth the read, especially if you’re wondering where your own “shower” idea is coming from.