ACTION 4: Delete or improve

‘If you're on a dog, you're on a dog.’

Adam Hudson, Fire Starter Videos

When I was younger I fancied a career in the film industry. As part of my education I took myself off to a one-day seminar run by a Hollywood producer, director, author and publisher. I remember he talked about getting an idea off the ground and bringing the concept you had in your mind to life — how you go from having an idea to getting funding to ultimately landing your product on the silver screen.

He talked about collaboration with useful partners, about sharing your story ideas and creating a team of people who share your enthusiasm for the project. He spoke of the need to constantly sell and talk up your project on all fronts to anyone who might know someone who knows someone else. Eventually, someone in the seminar put up their hand and asked, ‘What happens if someone steals your idea?'

His answer was priceless. It was one of those moments that shifts your brain so you see things differently. For me that brief exchange had a massive ripple effort, because his reply has stayed with me ever since and I talk about it and use it often. As I sat in the seminar room with about one hundred other young would-be filmmakers, he answered the question in two parts. First, he said we should be grateful that we have an idea someone thinks is worth stealing. Okay, that's a perceptive comment in its own right, because it implies that most of your ideas won't be worth stealing. But then ...

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