Some lessons from life, my business and my App as I reach my 45th year:
1 Making a fortune is extremely hard. And making a fortune out of a new idea is even harder. So never let money, wealth or retiring early to Barbados be a motivating factor. If it is, forget the idea. Else prepare to be bitterly disappointed.
2 Never let research findings dictate what happens to your idea or innovation. What people say (and do) needs to be tempered with interpretation and meaning. Obviously. But it still amazes me how often qualitative and quantitative research kills a great idea because the bigger picture/context was missed or ignored.
3 After getting excited about an idea or concept, sleep on it. In fact ignore it and see how it resets itself in your mind. Then sleep on it and ignore it some more. It will gradually harden into something unrecogniseably different. Then you know it beginning to cook into something. My App, for example, started life out as an experiment on Twitter
4 Never begin working on a new innovation while still excited about it - you lose all sense of reality.
5 It's not about how original an idea is, it's about how obvious it is and why no one has thought of it before
6 There is no such thing as a new idea - someone else, right now, is working on the same innovation as you - guaranteed
7 Confidentiality around a new idea/innovation is total and complete nonsense and a waste of time and energy. Share as soon as it comes to your head. Allow those around you, including future customers and even competitors, to a) build it with you and b) see that you have a core loyalty base of early adopters who will become mavens/advocates for your product or service
8 People who succeed with an idea will have failed at the same or very similar ideas (sometimes without even realising) countless times before. It is impossible to succeed without failing.
Finally, let me end by saying that the process of invention and innovation, like any other skill, needs practice to make perfect. Honest to goodness. Practice, practice, practice.