Confessions of an Ideas Junkie

A couple of weekends ago, I listened to an interesting podcast from a SXSW 2008 session entitled (wait for it…) A General Theory of Creative Relativity. Yes, a natty little title. At the end of the Q&A section, a woman in the audience spoke about how she thought the initial development of an idea is the most exciting part of the process. I smiled a smile of recognition.

The truth is, I’ve always been an ideas person. It’s something that has always come very naturally to me, sometimes too naturally. Once the tap has been opened, it’s not so much of a steady drip as a gushing geyser. And herein lies the problem – I have more ideas than I know what to do with.

In the same way that some actors say they start inhabiting their character from the shoes upwards, I have to start with a product name and very often a logo. The logo will probably go through several design interations and I will happily spend hours on researching as many aspects as I can dream up. For website ideas, possible domain names are shortlisted, availability is checked, and often domains are purchased on the spot for fear of someone else having exactly the same idea (and cruelly snatching potential success and fortune from my hands).

One week later, and all of this is a distant memory. My mind is now buzzing with the next big thing. There’s another bolt out of the blue two years later when the domain comes up for renewal. This is usually greeted with a slap on the forehead, “Oh yes, I remember that one!”, swiftly followed by “Is it REALLY two years already?”

So what’s the solution?

  • A: Stop thinking up new ideas. Unlikely.
  • B: Carry on as before with only a fraction of ideas making it to a finished product because I have neither the time or resources to take them to the next stage. Easy.
  • C: Sell or licence ideas. Challenging.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I can’t sit here writing anymore, I’ve got to start work on a fantastic idea I’ve just had. See you at

Hello World. Today I am 40…

In my typical style, I’ve been planning to start a blog for almost a year now. The domain was bought (the other Martin Baker is better known than this one), WordPress was installed, hours were spent mocking up and deliberating over designs (of course mostly going round in circles)…and for months the thing sat hidden away only accessible by me.

In the meantime, I’ve been building up a substantial list of topics to write about, all of which seems a bit of a waste of time when I could just be writing the damn thing and pushing the publish button. I needed an incentive and as today I turn 40, that seemed to be a convenient time to make the site live (my design indecision can now continue in public).

I’ve always loved writing so a blog is an exciting prospect. Partly because ‘the list’ gives me a compass of the subjects I want to write about and partly because it feels like unchartered territory where I haven’t got a clue what I’ll discover.

So today I am 40. Do I feel 40 years old? Not really. Maybe the question is really whether I feel old and the answer to that is absolutely not. In my mind, the best is still to come.