For example, many individuals have a neat idea for an iPhone app. So they scribble it down on a piece of paper and there you have it - an idea. Thats exactly what it is, an idea. In your head it makes total sense but to anyone else its a sketch of some sort.
sample sketch of an idea
Some might argue that the sketch tells all you need to know about how the idea works. This is a misconception because a refined idea needs no explanation.
Try this out. Take your sketch an give it to someone to look over. Let them (NOT YOU) explain the idea and how it works. If you realize the idea being conveyed is not the idea you intended, then you need to create a proper spec.
A spec comes in different sizes and flavors. For example, the sketch that you made is just the start - its a proposed concept.
A proposed concept takes on many forms before it makes its way into the next stage. But first, lets talk about the proposed concept.