Most of what I write isn’t made up

Most of what I write are ideas that were born somewhere else.

Yesterday, I wrote about trying not to use the phrase “to be honest.” I didn’t come up with that on my own. My parents told me that.

A few days back, I wrote about Swiss cheese and how we often make generalizations about groups of things based on a minority within those groups. I got that from a girl who made a video about homeschoolers.

But I’ve been doing this kind of thing for years. There might be a few unique ideas out there, but most of them are born elsewhere. Most of the time, I’m taking an idea someone else had and doing one of the following:

  1. Just passing it on as is.
  2. Adding to it / taking it further than the original person did.
  3. Applying it to a different issue.
  4. Combining it with another idea (also often from someone else)

I watched a video recently where two guys were talking about how they built their YouTube business. They said everyone is trying to come up with the next original, viral video. What we’ve done is find the videos that are already going viral and combining the concepts with other viral video concepts. That way, we know there’s a market for it already.

For instance, if they see that Star Wars is coming out with a new movie at the same time that Taylor Swift is releasing a new album around Christmas time, they might do a video dressed as Kylo Ren singing “Look What You Made Me Do” to Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer.

Actually, isn’t that exactly what Jimmy Fallon does on his show, cross pollinate like that, especially with skits like hisĀ Wheel of Musical Impressions?

Combining ideas like this, repurposing ideas, taking them further, applying them to different contexts – none of this is new. It’s how everyone works.

Speaking of different contexts, I likeĀ Taylor Mali’s line, something like, “Show all your work in math class and then hide it in your English papers.”