Dreamers, Doers & Incrementalists

Generally, I don’t give much importance to the praises in quotes, written on the back of a book. Most of them sound the same. So when I read Seth Godin saying “The ideas in this book can simply change your life.”, I thought, “Well, let’s see.”

“Making Ideas Happen” by Scott Belsky is a must-read for anyone who likes idea generation, and wants to take an idea to its full potential.  Scott is the founder of behance, a successful social networking site for creative minds. In this book, he has carefully organized all the little details and processes and tricks, which can help a person to nurture his / her nascent idea into a full scale execution. He repeatedly stresses on the fact that the “ideas are worthless if you can’t make them happen.” And it does ring true. Execution is an unglamorous task but an idea is nothing without it.

The book is full of nuggets, and I have reached only half of it, but I had this great urge to share something I picked up from the book which I would like to share with you.

People who are engaged in the creative business can be divided among three categories:

Dreamers:  These are the people who have ideas in abundance. Those who know them will often comment that these Dreamers are prolific, brilliant BUT lack focus. That is why they are not really as successful as they should be. They come up with various ideas, start the execution and most of the times move on to the next new idea, even before completing the last one. The few which they do complete are stunning, but they are rareand the world doesn’t have that much patience to give them that much time.

Doers: They love ideas. Ideas that have a chance of working. They start analyzing an idea with a doubt, exactly opposite of a dreamer. They prefer to break down ideas into actionable steps and ensure that the steps are carried out properly. They are not much into generation of ideas but are wonderful and absolutely necessary when it comes to making an idea see the light of the day.

Incrementalists: People who are both Dreamers and Doers. They can easily shift from one phase to another when it demands, giving them the opportunity to rampantly develop an idea and getting into the execution and completing it. Their inherent ability sounds sexy, and seems like the Holy Grail. But there is one disadvantage of being an Incrementalist. Simply because they can, they get involved in multiple projects. They efficiently complete the projects, but the continuous innovation or improvement which a project needs is not taken care of, since his energies are scattered in many projects at the same time.

The main advantage of this division is that, any creative person must find out in which category they belong to. Once they know that, they will be able to find a partner who should belong to the other two.  Partners are necessary and no great work is done in solitude. Most of the failed partnerships, however, result when all the partners are in the same category.  Incrementalists can gel well with both Dreamers and Doers.

So which category do you fit into?

- Subhadip

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