Heard this in an NPR interview with Robert Langer, prolific inventor (over 800 patents to his name). He claimed that this is one of the secrets to being a successful inventor – it’s not enough to have good ideas or be clever, you have to stick to it and really follow through.
That reminded me of a time in the summer of 2006: I had come up with Net-Map earlier that year, used it in two cases and felt ready to move on. “Interesting”, I thought, “but I am ready for the next more wonderful thing.” Looking back I have to say, I didn’t even know what Net-Map was all about… A more insightful colleague recommended that I give it just a bit more time, stick to it just a little bit longer because, as he put it: “This may well be the best idea you’ll ever have.” I don’t know about that, but here I am, seven years later, still sticking to it, and still excited. The most interesting thing happening at the moment is that I have gotten so much closer to implementation, most of the projects I am working on at the moment are concretely helping people change the world, not just analyze how it works.