I have lots of ideas, and I like to discuss them with friends/colleges in order to test them before implementing them. This usually leads to ideas that are ok, ideas that are really good, ideas that suck and sometimes ideas that are plain stupid.
Assuming that you too can have stupid ideas is very important, because it can mean that you are thinking, and discussing your thoughts with someone else. This argument is good enough to make a stupid idea worthwhile.
I will also share some stupid ideas I’ve had with you:
When I was at the University, and we were learning Numerical Calculus, I came up with an awesome idea: poly-compress. You could compress a buch of data, just by defining the polynomial interpolation that would represent the data and then just “evaluate” the polynomial to reconstruct the original data. Sounds great! except that the data you need to create the polynomial is the same or more than the original information. Duh!
Today I was discussing a problem with a friend and I woke up with a great new idea, I rapidly emailed him with my proposed solution, only to find out after a few hours that it was the same thing that was already implemented, but with fewer comparisons: it was better, but marginally better. Duh!
I came to realize that the ideas were bad after discussing them with friends and trying to implement them. None of them was implemented of course, but just the exercise of thinking on how to implement them made me realize that they were pretty stupid ideas.
So… don’t be afraid to let everyone know that you can have stupid ideas too! You can even start a good discussion on why your idea is stupid and in that process you can come up with a good idea.