Is Your Idea Bad?

Consider This

Both ways work well, but the difference is how much time, effort, energy, and money do you want to invest in that idea.

The example below talks about an idea that has been bouncing around my head for nearly 5+ years. Over the course of two days (roughly 10 hours total) this idea was went through research, planning, marketing strategy, early development, then quickly went into a coma.

The term “coma” is deliberate in that this idea didn’t actually die. It was researched to the point that some of the findings proved the idea was already created and therefore needed to be paused/restructured. As you’ll see, It isn’t anything ground breaking and I’ll be the first to agree that I’m not always on the cutting edge. (Show innovators graphic with an arrow that points to the area that says “Not Me.”) But, I do know how to flesh out an idea quickly.

Last week, there was a fire under my ass that caused me to research the he’ll out of Google maps. The creation, technology, and strategy behind it was intriguing. As page after page of research was consumed, Google Street View popped out as the topic I dove head first into. Capturing visuals in 360º views with the use of Google’s car, bike, boat or Trekker was ground breaking. This tool not only photographed the scenery, but plotted GPS data and sent data out immediately. The amount of data that the Street View team processes on a daily basis was mind blowing and I wanted to be a part of that.

That five year old idea was to continuously kayaking around the entire lower peninsula of Michigan. Using the Google Trekker and capturing the 360º views of this while mapping out the shoreline for Google Maps Street View would turn this selfish goal into something that served a purpose. If Michigan could be the first state to capture our entire coastline in Google maps, what would that do for our state? Would our travel and tourism increase if we expanded the idea to cover every interior river, lake, hiking and biking trails? Could I get paid to document all of this for Google?
The first thing I did was look to see if Google had a job position and found no such postings. Then started looking at articles that pertained to the idea in question. The initial research didn’t yield anything that was very substantial in disproving the idea. The majority of the 360 images were created around major scenic areas like, Grand Canyon, Colorado River, Mackinaw Bridge Climb, and others.
With this initial search yielding no results related to the idea, the excitement and ideas start to snowball.
  • How can I monetize this?
  • Could I partner with Pure Michigan? (which I later find out is part of the MEDC).
  • What is the cost to rent a boat?
  • How many days would it take to go around lower Michigan?
  • Would someone sponsor me with kayak equipment?
  • Would local restraurants to give me food along the trip?
The excitement was so overwhelming it felt like this idea was going to be BIG.


The idea quickly starts loosing traction. Two days of excitement have come abruptly to an end. Doubt starts entering the mind. Thoughts about giving up completely hits me hard. Why even look any further into this idea? If Pure Michigan has already done this, why even pursue it? Does this even have value?

To keep out of the doubt spiral I started to plot out the types of contributions and revenue opportunities a 360º view program would do for Michigan.

  • Surface Contribution

    People could take a virtual tour of places they can’t normally go.
    Increases awareness of MI as a travel destination
    What is the economic impact of the press from this?

  • Mid Level Contribution

    Scientific data about level of water and erosional could be done on a YOY basis.
  • Deep Level

    Aids in plotting out paths for robotic automation

Regardless of how great this idea seemed to be, there were a lot of reasons it fell into a coma.

Was the idea bad? No, not really
Was it a great idea? No, not really
Would it be amazing to create? Most definitely
So Google, if you run across this and want to pursue this grand undertaking, I’m your man.

Michigan Has A Lot To Offer

The State of Michigan is blessed with the riches of unspoiled nature. We have the nation’s longest freshwater coastline, lakes that capture entire horizons (like oceans do), golden beaches, sand dunes the size of mountains, an abundance of fresh produce straight from the farm, glorious sunrises, sunsets, and endless opportunities for recreation.
Who wouldn’t want to capture all of this and show it on a Google maps?

Read on about the splendor found in Michigan.

You can find over 100 public beaches, some of the highest freshwater sand dunes in the world, stunning multi-colored sandstone cliffs, two National Lakeshores and the only national marine sanctuary in the Great Lakes the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron. Along the shoreline discover 129 lighthouses, numerous maritime museums, ten shipwreck-diving preserves and historic military fortifications.
Hundreds of islands dot Michigan waters. Isle Royale National Park is a remote wilderness retreat in Lake Superior where wolves and moose roam free. Mackinac Island, located in the Straits of Mackinac, is a lush 19th-century resort community fixed firmly in the Victorian era, a car-free island dominated by an 18th-century fort and the more than a century-old Grand Hotel, America’s largest summer resort hotel.
150 waterfalls, iron and copper mines and the Soo Locks (where ocean-going freighters make the 21-foot leap from Lake Superior to Lake Huron) are within an easy drive of one another.
Michigan is blessed with tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, including more than 12,000 miles of cold water trout streams! The Natural Rivers Program was developed to preserve, protect and enhance our state’s finest river systems for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations by allowing property owners their right to reasonable development, while protecting Michigan’s unique river resources.
Since 1970, 2,091 miles on sixteen rivers or segments of rivers have been designated into Michigan’s Natural River System. In the order they were designated, the Natural River system includes the Jordan, Betsie, Rogue, Two Hearted, White, Boardman, Huron, Pere Marquette, Flat, Rifle, Lower Kalamazoo, Pigeon, AuSable, Fox, Pine, and Upper Manistee rivers.
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