21 Days to a Big Idea (2015) is your guide to rekindling playful creativity and discovering the countless bright ideas your brain is capable of producing. These blinks share the secrets behind simple yet effective techniques to get your creative juices flowing, and provide helpful tips for turning your wild ideas into a viable business.
Blank pages are daunting. They can make accomplished novelists, brilliant illustrators and successful business leaders nervous as they embark on new projects. Luckily, there’s one method that can help us conquer that blank page: brainstorming.
In fact, some of the world’s greatest scientific geniuses relied on brainstorming to kick-start their biggest ideas; this includes Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric light bulb.
An entry in one of his notebooks, dated January 3rd, 1888, contains a list of over 100 ideas that Edison scribbled down in hopes of finding the one invention he wanted to create. He came up with ideas for a snow compressor, artificial silk, synthetic ivory, an electric piano and many more.
Brainstorming has been the go-to trick for creatives throughout history because it helps shut out internal criticism. When we brainstorm, we reconnect with our playful, imaginative selves. This, in turn, allows us to see new possibilities that we’d normally dismiss.
On top of this, brainstorming helps us uncover our passions. If you brainstorm long enough, you’ll see patterns emerge that connect a handful of your ideas to deeper themes. This allows us to map out the areas that we’re passionate about, which we can then focus on and develop.
We may even realize that we’re passionate about something outside of our profession or skill set. This can be confusing for some, who worry that they can’t delve into a particular field without sufficient technical knowledge.
However, research into top-performing start-ups has shown that you don’t need to be a specialist in a given sector to come up with original solutions to problems. On the contrary, you may be in an even better position to kick-start innovation. When people know a lot about one specific industry, it may mean that they are too set in their ways to see new opportunities.
If you’re ready to try brainstorming, where do you start? Just grab a piece of paper and write down 30 to 50 ideas.