Ideas: Good Idea Machine Dan Schmisseur Helps us Create New Things

Dan Schmisseur has more workable ideas before 9am than most people have all day. The Muse asked for his idea-formation secrets and boy did he deliver.

Show Notes

Where do good ideas come from? In this episode, entrepreneur Dan Schmisseur shares his experience generating and exploring ideas to find gems worth pursuing.

Dan shares how the best ideas often come from connecting the dots to what may seem like unrelated information. The ability to create the space to think, explore, and learn broadly all aid in coming up with unique and valuable ideas.

Additionally, relationships are key to bringing your ideas to life. In this episode, managers will learn to foster a culture of idea generation by encouraging employees to deeply explore their industry, share their interests and experiences with each other, and build an atmosphere where people share ideas without fear of being immediately shot down.


• Great ideas are often ahead of the time other people are ready for them.

• Support and relationships are crucial for helping good ideas become great.

• Sometimes thorny problems lead to creative solutions. Occasionally, this is out of desperation.

• Never be afraid of looking stupid. Don’t shoot down ideas. People are much more willing to share their ideas when first reactions aren’t criticism.

• Outside perspectives can sometimes offer the necessary vantage point for meaningful change.

Episode Quotes

“Never be afraid of looking stupid because of your ideas.” – Dan Schmisseur

“It’s a weakness for managers to always be constantly busy, which may not be the best use of their time. When endlessly busy, there’s no time for developing people under them, and they are also making it so they have no time to think about new ideas.” – Cindi Baldi

“One of the myths of entrepreneurs is that they go all for broke when the truth is that most successful entrepreneurs have safety nets.” -Dan Schmisseur

About Dan Schmisseur

Dan Schmisseur is a serial entrepreneur who is half of the brains behind the consulting firm Cromwell Schmisseur. 


Adam Grant (2016), Originals: New York: Viking.

Adam Grant (2013), Give and Take: New York: Viking.

Clayton Christensen (1997), The Innovator’s Dilemma: Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Scott Shane (2008), Illusions of Entrepreneurship: New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Sehgal, Kabir. “Why you should have (at least) two careers.”

Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr. org/2017/04/why-you-should-have-at-least-two-careers (2017).

Keywords: Ideas, idea generation, relationship building, networking, creativity

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