Words That Inspire: 3/4-Baked

Jason McLennan suggests that we stop "chasing perfection."
Cookies by Yuri Long

photo by Yuri Long




"I believe in the 3/4-baked philosophy. People chase perfection—trying to 'fully bake' their ideas before they share them with the world. Too many people end up never sharing their ideas, songs, dreams, novels, and inventions.

The 3/4-baked philosophy is about finding that right time to share your work—letting the community fully bake it. The more you do this, the more you put yourself out there, the more success you have."

Jason F. McLennan


How many ideas or dreams get left on the shelf because you don't think they're good enough or because you're afraid of how they'll be received?  Sustainable architecture guru Jason McLennan suggests that we stop "chasing perfection." Getting off the mark is at the heart of Jason McLennan’s 3/4-baked philosophy. Dare to share.

Check out the classroom activity below to find out what level your students might take their ideas.

Warm-up Activity

Before you and your students explore Jason McLennan's 3/4-baked philosophy, take a look at how he came up with the term.  Fully-baked seems easily understood, but what about half-baked? See how many definitions you can come up with.


3/4-Baked Game


Level One: Write it down
Ask each student to write down their 3/4 –baked ideas.  They may be dreams, inventions, ambitions, service projects, and more. Whatever the idea, it should be more than the idea itself, but doesn’t have to be fully fleshed out. They may keep these ideas to themselves in a journal, or, if your group of students feel comfortable, post them where everyone can see—and see where these ideas end up! 

Level Two: Find someone to share your idea

Have your students think of someone they trust, someone with whom they can share this 3/4- baked idea. It may be someone who has knowledge or expertise in this area, or a person whom they feel will give constructive feedback and support.

Level Three: Get moving!
How has the feedback helped your students changed or grown their ideas? What do they now need to do to fully bake them? It’s time to spring into action.

Level Four: Celebrate
Congratulations!  Your students have taken their 3/4- baked ideas and tested them. Are they now fully baked?

Level Five: Continue the journey of the 3/4-baked philosophy

Now that your students have taken the risk to share their 3/4-baked ideas, encourage them to do it again!


Jason McLennan photo by Paul Dunn


Read Jason McLennan's YES! Breakthrough 15 Story, "Bringing Buildings to Life."