When we have a great new idea, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the discovery and overlook things. 
For instance, I thought I had an idea for a great new app that could help peoples’ productivity. I launched into brainstorming and idea development, only to later discover that such an app already existed. In fact, numerous other apps already existed!
Let’s call this phenomenon the Idea High. 
The Idea High feels amazing, but it can cause us trouble if we aren’t careful.
Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic Park sums up the Idea High in one iconic line of dialogue: 
“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
I recently read an article that talked about how Disney implemented a gamification program for laundry worker productivity. Disney implemented real-time tracking of worker productivity along with scoreboards and indicators to show who was performing well—and who wasn’t. 
Once the program was implemented, there were a lot of negative side effects that came to light. Some workers began to refer to the gamification of their work as “the digital whip”. If the whip was cracking, they were working as hard as they could. This led to injury and emotional and mental tolls on the workers.
Disney was so focused on their new idea that they didn’t stop to ask how it might impact the lives of their workers.
They were blind to any potential downsides.
You see this happening in the tech world all of the time. Developers and app designers launch thousands of new products every month, many of them built to help solve peoples’ problems, but how many of these leaders have asked the hard questions about their products?
Will this new app idea have any negative side effects? Will this cool new feature I came up with actually be beneficial, or could it have unsavory side effects that I might not even discover until years later?
Social networks have been around for years, but it seems like only over the last few years has the conversation started to shift towards whether or not the way these platforms are designed is actually healthy or unhealthy.
Are they addictive? Were they made to be addictive? Does endless scrolling through Instagram effect your sense of self-worth? Was it intended to do that? Or was it an unintended consequence of someone’s Idea High? 
I’m in the early stages of developing an iOS app that would help people achieve their career goals and ensure that they are moving forward in their industry. I thought it might be fun to add a social component to the app that would allow users to see their friend’ progress on a scoreboard. That would be fun and motivating, right? Perhaps, but it might lead to a whole host of unintended consequences.
Implementing a user scoreboard might seem fun, but it might actually cause people to start using the app for the wrong reasons. The app isn’t about competing or “winning” or even accumulating a digital score. The app is about helping people move forward on their career path.
It remains to be seen if having such a score board in my app would be good or bad. Maybe it would be a mix of both. But, if I chased the Idea High and ignored this kind of probing question, I might have an app that harms people or does things that I didn’t intend.
## Twitter
Kanye has been talking a lot lately about how social networks should remove or hide peoples’ follower counts and engagement metrics. He, and others like him, think that these metrics are encouraging the wrong kind of habits. They might also be harming us on an emotional and personal level. 
The dopamine hit, like the Idea High, feels great, but it might be leading us a down a dangerous path that we never realized we were even on.
## Build
A lot of developers, designers, and tech leaders talk about how they value people who build things over people who spend a lot of time thinking about building things.
I can relate to this mindset. A lot of the time we have a lot of interesting ideas but have a hard time motivating ourselves to actually get out there and start making things. It’s easy to talk, but it’s a lot hard to actually walk the talk.
Still, if we place too much of an emphasis on “just build stuff” or “ship things”, then we might end up shipping or building something that we shouldn’t have. 
To this many people might say, “it’s better to ship things and learn from your mistakes”. I agree that we should learn from our mistakes and not let the risk of failure stop us from making things. However, we have a moral responsibility to understand what we’re shipping before we ship it.
If you take a package to the USPS and they ask you if any of their banned or regulated items are contained within your package and you say, “I don’t know.” or “maybe?” then they aren’t going to ship your package.
And they shouldn’t. Because it could be dangerous and end up hurting someone.
Know what you’re shipping. Know what you’re making.
The only way to do this is to start questioning yourself and your ideas. Don’t kill your Idea Highs, but don’t let them propel you to do things without adequalely investigating the ideas either.