Recently I was listening to the Podcast EconTalk by Russ Roberts who was interviewing Nassim Taleb. If you are unaware of who Nassim is– he wrote two great books The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness. These both are great reads and the more I hear from Nassim the more I’m convinced he is one of the great minds of our time.

In this interview he mentioned something that really became a revelation. He said he only really has one idea. He could spend a lifetime working on figuring out this one idea. Approaching it from different angles and different thoughts. He said…

[I] Write about the same thing, but each time it is a different application. The black swan is not the central idea. The central idea is convexity. Convexity is when you lose a penny to make a dollar; when being wrong doesn’t cost you as much as being right.

One Idea

While Nassim’s was talking about is a single idea within economics I think the concept he discussed is relevant to most of us creating content.

What is that central idea that your trying to figure out?

I think there is a lesson to be learned by focusing on one concept or one idea. I like to think of these as your  power ideas. These are ideas and concepts that if you were asked about them you could go on and on for hours.

What to Do Next?

Then comes the hard part. Just thinking about ideas isn’t enough. To develop them further it’s important to work through the issues involved. I don’t know any other better way to do this than creating content.

This is where a lot of people hit a brick wall. They ask questions like… What do I talk about? How can I do a post a day or three times a week? How do I come up with new things to talk about? Why would people follow me?

Maybe the answer here is to come up with one idea. One idea that is worth solving or worth thinking about. One idea that can be approached from different angles. One idea that when you got up tomorrow can be explored time and time again. All with passion and with the same vigor as the first time you thought you really got it.

Is It That Simple?

I believe it could be. The key here is to come up with one idea that is worthy of this effort. One idea or drive that can be approached from different prospective.

Just a thought, what do you think? Is having one idea the key? Is it possible to keep focused on one idea and still be interesting for years and years?

Can you come up with one idea? (picture by Mike Fleming)