1. Test early and often, with multiple versions of your invention. In Rock’s case, long before he begins a world tour, he experiments with new material by doing 40+ 45-minute shows in a tiny club near his house. This helps him eliminate many duds, and refine the best lines.
2. Establish a process to refine your invention. For Rock, this simply means writing new jokes on a legal pad, and then writing up the audience reaction (good and bad) after he’s done… so he can note, learn from and incorporate the feedback.
3. Don’t overanalyze or overstress if some elements of your invention don’t work for others. Rock recognizes that the audience — not him — ultimately needs to be delighted, so he’ll revise or eliminate a joke he loves if it’s just not working well for others.
Photo by ChrisRock.com.