HP's sleek new logo is not entirely new. And that's inspiring news for entrepreneurs and creatives who cycle daily through dozens of ideas, visual and otherwise. 

As reported in The Verge, the logo--depicted above--actually debuted in 2011. It's the work of the global creative company Moving Brands, whom HP had hired to develop a new brand identity. Back then, HP didn't end up using the logo, but there was plenty of buzz about the iconic brand's potentially new look: 

 

 

So why has HP finally decided to roll out the slightly slanted, four-line logo? Mainly to promote the April 25 debut of its Spectre laptop, which it claims is the world's thinnest. The Spectre is also HP's attempt to outdesign Apple's laptops. According to The Verge, HP will use this logo solely on the Spectre and other premium laptops--and not as the logo to represent the entire company. 

What can you learn from the resuscitation of a once-buried design for a new company initiative? Mainly this: Some ideas will need time--even years--before your company can find the best use for them.

In his seminal 2004 essay, "Managing Open Innovation," Henry Chesbrough, a professor at U.C. Berkeley's Haas School of Business, provided a succinct set of actions any company can take to keep tabs on ideas that are stalled or killed: 

But now the company must observe what happens after that decision. How are the researchers responding to the decision to terminate further support? Have they moved on to the next project, or are they still committing time to the terminated one? If the latter, have they found any external customers for the project? 

Chesbrough goes on to cite IBM as an example: In 1998, IBM put some software called XML Parser on its AlphaWorks web site after discontinuing funding for it. But people continued downloading the software in droves. IBM reconsidered its funding decision, and brought XML Parser back into the fold. 

So the first lesson here is this: After you kill or bury an idea, find a way to keep tabs on its popularity, either among your employees or customer base. Don't just consider it dead. 

You may also find you need a new vantage point to clearly evaluate the merits of your idea--especially if you're too close to see it objectively. This doesn't have to be complicated. Novelist Colum McCann told the Wall Street Journal that he does the old change-the-font-size trick to become more of a critical outsider to his own work. Sometimes he'll print out a chapter in large font and take it to Central Park. There, he'll read it and pretend it was written by someone else.

Other times, if he's in more of a tweaking mindset than a big-picture one, he'll print out the passage in eight-point font. "It forces me to peer at the words and examine why they're there, McCann told the Journal

For HP, the big-picture perspective made it the right time to revisit a sharper logo, now that a few months have passed since its split from Hewlett Packard Enterprise. "The new consumer brand seems more willing to embrace an edgier look," notes The Verge.

Whether those four slanted stripes can challenge a five-letter fruit's reputation as the trendsetter in the world of designer laptops, only time will tell.