Ideas Are Tangible

by Dan Walsh

Ideas have this pesky reputation for being wispy, intangible things until someone executes on them. They’re not. Ideas take physical form as soon as someone thinks them. Neurons in the human brain connect, synapses form, and a complex network of thought is born. Just by thinking, the human brain is also creating.

I have an idea for a travel coffee brewer. It’s a combo thermos, kettle, and coffee siphon. No grinder. It’s probably made of stainless steel, and maybe reinforced glass. Right now I envision it as either a cylinder or a cylindrical hexagon. Can you envision it? Even just slightly?

I’ve made a few sketches and jotted down a few notes, but the idea mostly exists in my head.

Some would say it doesn’t exist. I haven’t executed on the idea. I haven’t made prototypes – or better yet, taken the idea to market, so it’s not a real thing. But if I fall down a flight of stairs, get a concussion and then forget the idea, the travel coffee brewer will cease to exist.


I hit my head, suffer some brain trauma, and the network of cells that were the body of a fetal idea are snuffed out. The idea has physical, tangible form inside my brain – even if it doesn’t have shape outside of my head.

I told a coworker about the travel coffee brewer. Now it’s in his head too. Probably not exactly as I envision it, but that’s ok. The details are superfluous. His brain created a network of cells and gave the idea another body. Now it has two, tangible forms.

Now it’s in your head too. Again, probably not exactly as I see it, but you have the broad strokes.

It’s pretty wild that something can manifest into existence just by thinking about it.

It’s almost like magic.