Most Great Ideas Are Rejected at First


When you have a new idea, the work just starts
Visual Created via Canva by the Author

“If you have a great idea, the world will readily accept it.”

Well, this is not the case.

As David Burkus puts in his book, “Once you have a creative idea or innovative new product, getting others to see its value is the easy part, and that if you develop a great idea, the world will willingly embrace it. We expect a celebration when the product launches or our new work is on display. But this is often not the case.

In fact, most of the time, creative ideas or innovative products are rejected.

How many ‘great ideas’ have you had which were rejected by the world?

→ It can be a blog post rejected by an editor.

→ It can be a business idea rejected by your friends and family.

→ Or something else.

The thing is that it’s not just about you. Everyone faces rejection every day. Even the biggest companies around the world rejected great inventions:

  • “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union internal memo dated 1876.
  • “Who the hell wants to copy a document on plain paper???!!!” Rejection letter in 1940 to Chester Carlson, inventor of the XEROX machine.
  • And many more…

New ideas are rejected all the time. The list of rejection stories is endless — whether it’s a famous one or not.

David Burkus explains why rejection happens as “Creative ideas, by their very nature, invite judgment. People need to know if the value promised by the new is worth the abandonment of the old. We tend to fear change, and therefore we fear the innovations that call us to change.”

The bottom line, accept the rejection. Use rejection as learning. And let it feed your creativity.

Just don’t forget, creativity and the ability to innovate are like muscles — the more we use them, the stronger they get.

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