This is how ideas happen

Illustration: Ashley Siebels

When two humans have sex, it’s possible another human will be conceived.

This is a brand new human. A whole human. A baby human.

Baby X is useless. She cannot feed herself. She cannot hold her head up. She cannot roll over.

The parent(s) responsible for Baby X care for it and nurture it. At the very least they keep it alive.

With any luck, Baby X will grow to be Woman X, at which point she will have her own responsibilities. She will change the world in whatever way she sees fit.

Eventually, Woman X may have a child. Man X (or at least Sperm X) will assist in another conception.

Welcome to the world, Baby Y.

But how is an idea conceived?

It’s a fair question.

It’s also one with an obvious answer:

When two ideas have sex, it’s possible another idea will be conceived.

Three problems with this oversimplification:

1. Sometimes an idea will not be conceived.

You brainstorm and you drink coffee and you try. But no matter what, you cannot arrive at a pleasing result.

That’s okay. It was a concept. There was no conception.

How do you solve this problem?

Generate more concepts.

2. Ideas don’t always mate.

Right now, our best guess says there are only 5,000 Black Rhinos remaining on this planet.

What would help the endangered species?

More Black Rhinos.

When you have more Black Rhinos, the chance of making more Black Rhinos increase. This is the overall goal of endangered species biologists, yes?

More conception = more conception.

More ideas = more ideas.

3. Sometimes ideas suck

Yes. And every time a baby is born, it is functionally useless.

Which is why it needs you.

This article was originally published on Medium.