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The Power of the Straw Dog

I’ve got a buddy of mine who limits all his crazy, off the wall ideas to one piece of paper.  He calls it a 1 page brain dump.  I call it–the Straw Dog.

Make no mistake – that is not my original term.  The Straw Dog came from several managers of yesteryear, who tended to use this term when they were having brainchilds of their own and needed to get something on paper.  The straw dog is that stage where you have an idea and you put it down just to get it down, then develop a bit about it, but again, limit it to only one page.  I did that for several of my books.  My friend does it for educational and vocational stuff relative to his business.

I think there’s tremendous power in limiting an idea to only one page.  It’s hard, because one usually has a cloud of ideas bursting from that one original idea.  However, it is the written equivalent of an elevator pitch, limited by marginal bounds rather than merely time boundaries.  Yeah, a bunch of data is good too, to feed the science nerd in me, but really–at the end of the day, if I can’t get a really awesome idea down in one page, I’m not quite sure that idea is quite so awesome after all…

Next time you have an amazing idea – create your own straw dog.  You, too, might find it a powerful tool to bring new ideas into the world – and we all know we could definitely use more of those!!!!

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