More On Idea Generation

Posted: September 11, 2016 in books
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YOURENOTCOVERSome ideas are just ahead of their time
I always remember the movie Big. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch. Tom Hanks plays a kid who was magically transformed into an adult. Through a series of events Hanks finds himself looking for a place to live, looking like a man but with the skills and experiences of about a twelve year old boy. By providence, he finds a job in research and development at a toy company where his child-like mind serves him very well. Finally he gets to pitch his own original toy idea. He goes with an electronic interactive comic book that will sell for about $20. The rest of the people laugh him out of the room and he realizes he needs to go back to being a kid. In the 80s when the movie came out, the idea of this interactive electronic book seemed absurd. Of course now we call it an iPad and pay 25 times that. Your idea might be like that. This is another reason why it is imperative that you find a way to record and store your ideas.

Are you too broad?
Another reason people think they don’t have any ideas is because they are looking too broadly. They are looking all over the universe to find that magic idea that will put them on the map. Sometimes it works, but most of the time we need to narrow it down and get really specific. Start with thinking about a problem that needs to be solved (remember problem solving is the essence of creativity), then brainstorm as many ideas as you can to solve it. Then work the process to find your best idea and do it.

Or maybe you’re wanting to create a product, let’s say a toy. Now as you well know the category of toys is practically a universe unto itself. You will probably need to narrow it down. Rather than say I want to make a toy, think of who will use it and what will they do with it. Maybe you want to create a toy that will teach a toddler the alphabet or a board game to be played by the whole family that will teach strategic thinking along with being just plain fun.

Ultimately asking yourself a few questions about who will use your product and what they will accomplish with it will take you a long way toward getting and then refining your idea.

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