Originality Is Dead, And Stealing Is The New Normal…

Mar 06, 2023

Every idea that was ever possible has been thought of, talked about, or tested in some manner.

In the 200,000+ years, that modern humans have been on earth, everything that has been conceivable to the human brain has been thought of at least once. There is no such thing as an original idea anymore.

Successful ideas have been tested, refined, reiterated, rediscovered, and reworked. In itself, this is not a new idea. There is no need to recreate the wheel when instead you can steal it and make it your own.

This has been the process of the greatest minds over the last 500+ years, reworking existing ideas, business models, and systems. In turn, scientific progress has been made, refined, and expanded on.

If everyone started with their own original idea when it came to launching a business, posting content online, or creating a “New Revolutionary” product we would end up with carbon copies. 

We see this in our human history where cultures thousands of miles away separated by oceans create almost identical creation tales. 

Showing that the “original” creation tales of many different cultures in themselves are not original but a shared human experience refined and crafted through storytelling. Created in complete isolation from each other. Never written down, and passed from one generation to the next orally, these stories were expanded and refined from each storyteller to the next. The original ideas were never lost but adapted, reworked, and shaped into new stories. Slowly molding into a communal human experience across cultures, time, and space.

So, why are you trying to create the next original idea for your business when you have the greatest framework in human history at your fingertips to steal from?

There Are No New Ideas, There Are Only “Successful” Ones To Steal…

Have you ever heard the phrase, “steal like an artist”? It means that you get inspired by art, writing, and videos of other creators and steal their core ideas and mold them into your own unique form of art.

It is not copying the exact art you are imitating, but rather stealing the core ideas and reshaping the final product you are creating around these core ideas. If I asked you to draw the Mona Lisa you would probably try your best to replicate it. But if I asked you to draw the Mona Lisa and make it better, you have many different pathways to try.

You could draw her upside down, you could give her a mustache and a hat, or you could draw her as a skeleton. No matter how you draw her though we will still know that is the Mona Lisa because you are working off the framework of the original painting.

We can copy her pose, we can copy the landscape behind her, we could copy her iconic smile, or we could use none of those iconic features of the painting. Either way, you are drawing the Mona Lisa without it looking exactly like the Mona Lisa. You can do a quick Google search and you will see hundreds of examples of this.

In the end, your drawing won’t be original, but it might be better than the Mona Lisa in the context that you showcase it in. This is the best way to ethically steal an idea and build on top of it to create something “new”.

Creating “new” ideas, allows you to explore concepts, systems, and business strategies in a way that won’t burn you out while allowing you to find what works for you and then expand on it. Steal the core ideas, systems, and lessons of successful source material and make it into your own.

How To Apply This In Your Daily Life. Finding the “What, How, and Why?”

So, how do you find your own Mona Lisa to steal? Start by consuming…

It doesn’t matter what you are consuming when you are starting. Everything can lead you to inspiration or a new viewpoint in the beginning. Look at content related to your problem, then look at content that is polar opposite of what you are trying to solve.

Connect the two and see if there is anything similar between these two forms of content. What are the main ideas, and how are they constructed in writing, visuals, or video? What do you like about them, and what captures your attention? 

Write down the Whats until you have a list of actionable starting points to work off of that can then be applied to your own content. Of those Whats circle the top 3 actionable ideas that held your attention. Those will be your starting points.

Now it is time to find the Hows. How will applying these 3 actionable steps help improve your business, online content, or business systems? How can you apply these 3 actionable steps in a manner that is effective, fast, and easy? How will this resonate with your audience, customers, or clients? 

By finding the How, we can start clarifying if our What are actually doable, or worth the time and resource investment. The Hows will dictate if you have the time, money, or incentive to implement the new ideas you have found in your source content, or if you have a gap in your business/skill set that needs to be addressed. 

These gaps can be addressed by learning a new skill, hiring a freelancer, creating a partnership, or creating a new system. The goal here is to find the path that has the least amount of friction when it comes to implementing your ideas (Whats) in this stage of the framework.

Once you have found the path of least resistance when implementing your idea we now need to address why? Why will this help me? Why will this help my customers, viewers, and clients? Why is this worth the time or financial investment?

If you can answer all your “Whys”, then you have a winning idea and a pathway to implement that new idea. If you hit a wall and you cannot answer your “Whys”, or your “Whys” lead to the idea not being a good investment, you have saved yourself from starting a project that won't lead to actionable results.

How Not To Get Caught Stealing…

You now have your winning idea, a plan to implement it, and the actionable reasons why you should invest in that idea. The goal now is not to get caught stealing…

You will get caught if you copy the idea exactly, you will get caught if you reference your source material, and you will get caught if you fail to apply your own viewpoint to this idea. To solve the question of how to not get caught stealing we need to look at pizza…

Every pizza starts with the same ingredients, dough, sauce, and cheese. Within New York City you can find a pizzeria on almost every street corner, yet almost every slice of pizza in New York is different.

At its core, every pizza embodies the same idea of cheesy goodness, but you will find that ingredients, cooking methods, and toppings will be all different. Every pizzeria will use a different kind of cheese, pepperoni, or flour in their recipe. They may add olive oil on top, pasta, anchovies, or, god forbid, pineapple. 

Some pizzas are as thin as paper, some are deeper than a swimming pool, some will have no sauce, and some will only have sauce. The thing they all have in common is that they are pizza. This same concept needs to be applied to your winning idea.

Apply your own knowledge, skill set, or preferences to your stolen idea and it will slowly mold into something new. Once you get to the point where your stolen idea does not copy the idea you are stealing you are in the clear. You gain all the benefits we established in the What, How, And Why framework without getting caught.

You will also have a framework on how to expand your creative toolbox. Consume more content, make more connections, steal more ideas, and implement those into actionable steps, and for heaven's sake, never put pineapple on pizza…

Why Is Stealing Good For Society?

If no one stole an idea and improved upon it society would not progress. We would not have light bulbs, telephones, or televisions because they all started as stolen ideas! The phone in your pocket all started with the idea being stolen and improved upon for financial gain. Does that upset you?

Of course, it doesn’t.

Now we have supercomputers that we can carry anywhere in the world with us. We can contact anyone in the world by punching in 10 numbers, and we can answer almost any question in a matter of seconds. 

The telephone has been reworked, reinvented, and repurposed from the original idea so much that it benefits anyone who uses it. Businesses can be managed remotely, you can work with a digital team, and you can stay connected anywhere in the world. The benefits outweigh the negatives for most users and have allowed anyone who owns a smartphone to excel.

Without the original theft of the idea, none of this would be possible. An idea is worth little if it is embodied by one individual, as they are limited in their thoughts based on their experiences, personal journeys, and skillset. That is why it is important to steal ideas, and we can see this over the course of history.

Most of the revolutionary ideas that have changed the course of mankind have started as stolen, and have been used to spark countless new ideas, inventions, and theories in their wake. 

The telescope is one of them…

In 1609, Galileo Galilei constructed what was thought to be the world’s first telescope, and with it, he discovered Jupiter’s four largest moons, spots on the sun, phases of Venus, and hills and valleys on the Moon. 

In reality, Galileo was not the first to create a telescope instead, the idea came from Hans Lippershey, a Dutch Lensmaker, who had created a telescope and filed for a patent in 1608. Adding to the confusion, yet another Dutchman, Jacob Metius, applied for a patent for a telescope a few weeks after Lippershey. 

The government of the Netherlands turned down both applications because of the counterclaims between the two. Also, officials said the device was easy to reproduce, making it difficult to patent. Upon further research, it was discovered that Hans Lippershey also had taken the idea for the telescope from another lens maker named Zacharias Jansen who is credited with inventing the compound microscope.

Eventually, Galileo acquired written research from Hans Lippershey and, Zacharias Jasen and made his own version of the telescope which was patented. This led to Galileo being officially credited with inventing the telescope, even though he was not the inventor and credit should have been given to Zacharias Jansen.

The idea of the telescope benefited solely from the fact that it was stolen, reworked, reinvented, and repurposed by different individuals. This process has been the exact way that countless inventions and discoveries have been made throughout history. 

Ideas are cheap and execution is priceless.

Ideas Are Cheap, Execution Is Priceless.

Anyone can come up with an idea. It may not be original, but it is the seed of action. Those who are successful in life, business, and love find what ideas help them achieve their goals and execute them.

An unfulfilled idea is nothing more than a whisper, while a successful idea is a roaring crowd. Failure to execute only leads to mindless chatter, which opens a chance for dialogue. 

Most of the ideas in your life will pass you by like soft whispers in large crowds. Failed ideas will be the breeding ground for new ideas, systems, and adventures. While successful ideas will lead to acquiring more wealth, partnerships, and publicity in life.

We will all have many failed endeavors, businesses, and adventures from ideas that were not fully developed, researched, or thought through. But, along the way, they will serve as lessons, milestones, and platforms to jump off of.

Most people will never take the leap, and fewer will believe in your ideas when you first express them. That is okay. It only takes one idea to be perfectly executed to change everything. Sometimes ideas take days to show fruit, while others take years to implement and execute. 

Either way, the path less traveled is rifled with obstacles, bends, and diversions. That is why the process of executing your ideas is priceless, as the lessons, skills, and stories you will collect will be worth a fortune both in the execution of new ideas, but also as lessons you can teach to others.

We are all experts in something and can leverage that knowledge on stolen ideas to breed new ingenuity. Creating and following a process will help you master your craft and will also teach you how to dissect ideas put forward by others who are successful. 

You will be able to reverse engineer why some ideas work and others fail, and you will also be able to steal the framework others use to become successful. Improve upon it, make it your own system, and have someone else steal it from you. 

Inherently, the theft of an idea is not a bad thing. It fosters better execution, planning, and distribution, raising the bar higher for all content creators, online businesses, and creatives. 

Content Creation For The Everyday Expert.

Everyone has expertise in a skill, business, or stage of life that someone else wants to learn. You do not have to do anything other than document what you are doing and how you are doing it. This can take place in the form of a blog, a YouTube channel, or a couple of paragraphs on your website.

You can give that knowledge away for free and grow an audience, or monetize it and create a course structure. You can then steal the framework or core ideas of others who are successful and use it to frame your own expertise. 

Often clients will tell me they have no clue how to create content for their business. I then start asking them questions about their product, how they manufacture it, how they promote it, and why their customers buy it.

During the course of that conversation, I can usually note 5 to 10 actionable ideas they can create content around. The best topics you can educate your customers, audience, or client with are right under your nose. It is the day-to-day tasks you complete that someone else has never done.

9 times out of 10 business owners, creators, and creatives know what they should create content around. The problem is they are in it every day and don't see it as valuable information because it is second nature to them. Instead, they go out and look for an original idea, but fail to find one because they don't exist.

In turn, they feel stuck, and hopeless because they do not know what to do next. Trust me I know, I was once there. By taking what you know, and combining it with a “stolen idea” you can create your own take on a popular topic. Below are some fill-in-the-blank prompts to get started. These are titles pulled from YouTube videos with over 100K views each. 

Prompt: How To _________ For Beginners.

Original Video: How To Invest For Beginners. 6.7 Million Views Ali Abdaal

This prompt is good if you are just getting started as you can draw in beginners over time who can binge your content. They will want to learn as much as possible and will be a dependent audience to create content for as they do not have any expertise in the skill you are making content on.

Prompt: 5 Tips to INSTANTLY Blow Up Your _____

Original Video: 5 Tips to INSTANTLY up your PHOTO GAME 3.6 Million Views Peter Mckinnon 

This prompt is best for creators who own a service-based business. By giving tips on the service you provide you offer expertise and actionable steps. Most business owners will hire someone else to complete these “tips”, so why can't it be you?

Prompt:  If You Are ______, Start __________

Original Video: If You Are High Value, Start A One-Person Business 170K Views Dan Koe

This prompt works great with an established audience or with audience members who fit the “title” you choose to go after. If I were to use this prompt it would look like this: If You Are a Small Business Owner, Start Here…

By having content based around this prompt, you will draw in your ideal audience, to who you can provide value and upsell/cross-sell. 

Pulling This All Together.

There are no original ideas left and the best way to start is by stealing a successful idea, system, or format that will help you achieve your goals. Leverage your expertise and steal like an artist.

Evaluate what you are stealing, how you will implement it in your content, business, etc, and answer why this will benefit you, your business, and your audience. The goal is to create new content off the shoulders of already successful content. 

Everyone has the capability to do this by applying their own expertise. Use content from your favorite creators as a framework and apply it to your goals. There is no reason to recreate the wheel when you have the perfect framework in front of you to work off of.

Consume, Learn, Steal, Reinvent, and Leverage What You Know.

Go forth and steal like an artist. 

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