in the next five minutes you’re gonna become deliberately creative. I’m gonna give you some tools to help you to do that, and to do that, you need to defer judgment when you’re generating ideas. You need to strive for lots of ideas, force connections between things that usually don’t relate to each other, and change the way that you view failure! Let’s talk about each one of those.
How do you generate lots of ideas?
You follow some guidelines first, defer judgment. Next guideline is to strive for quantity. The third guide is to seek wild and unusual ideas and the fourth guideline is to combine and build on other ideas. Let me talk with you about each one of those deferring judgments. First off, when we talk about deferring judgment, and we talk about an idea, an idea is just an idea. That’s all. It is not an action, it’s not a decision, it’s not a conclusion, so judge your ideas after you’ve generated them, not while you’re generating—and separate the generation of ideas from their evaluation.
Set an idea quota
Next thing, come up with lots of ideas! We find it helpful to set an idea quota of about 30 ideas. What you’ll find when you trigger an idea is the first third—the first ten—or so there’s the usual ideas. The second third of them are kind of the unusual, silly ideas, and then the playdirt comes when you get about 30 ideas or more. That’s where the new innovations begin to happen, make connections. Stephen King said good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere. Previously unrelated ideas come together to make something new Under the Sun and, we’re going to do that right now!
Creating Something New
So, we’re going to make an improvement on a product, and the product is something you’re all very familiar with: a suitcase. So, I need to hear from you how much you can improve a suitcase, with all the ideas you have for improving a suitcase. What do we got? Very good! What else? Good! What else? Wonderful! What else? Excellent! What else? Excellent, good! What else? Now we’re going to try forcing the connection between improving a suitcase and an elephant. What ideas do you get for improving a suitcase from an elephant? What we got? Make it stronger! Good! Large! Good! What else? Make it fluffy! Good! What else? Built-in water bottle? Excellent! What else? You had some ideas make it bigger, a flexible handle like an elephant’s trunk, put flaps on the side like an elephant’s flappy floppy ears, right? Good! And put straps on it somewhat so it can be carried by an elephant. I got a few more for you, next one: what ideas do you get for improving a suitcase from a telephone? What we got? Well, then phone, good what else? Auto dialer? Good! What else? A couple not good, what else? A wireless in a suitcase? Fabulous, good! What else? Pay for what you use this suitcase, good. What else? Alright, what ideas might you get from proving a suitcase from a bowl of fruit? Talk to me about that? What’s absolutely good? What else, something soft and squishy? Good. What else? A refrigerator, okay, good, what else? A biodegradable suitcase, okay, last one: what ideas do you get for improving a suitcase with sports car? What? We got a beautiful suitcase! What else? What’s that? Yeah, good, motorized wheels, yeah, wheels motorized, okay. Here’s an idea that’s out there on the market even right now, a scooters suitcase. The next time you’re going around the airport with a SCOOTER suitcase.
Okay, we have a couple more things to talk about. One is to talk about failure and learning. So, one of the last things I want to talk about today is to change the way that you view failure, because failure equals learning. Whatever, whenever you do anything, you produce a result. It might not be the result that you anticipated, but the question is: what can you learn from that result? What can you learn from that result? One of the great quotes on this is from Edison, and Edison said “I’ve not failed 700 times when trying to invent the light bulb, I’ve succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work.” Eliminate the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work. What a great attitude, right? So, thank you very much and good evening! Thank you!