Idea quality comes from idea quantity?
Many of my worst ideas have actually been the most creative. These ideas usually contain a shift of perspective that, once found, create new insights when combined with other ideas. However, this cannot happen if I hold the idea back––although a group dynamic might dictate that strange or weird contributions be withheld, these are precisely the additions that can lead to breakthroughs and new understandings of old problems.
If each member of a group stays within the confines of what is “acceptable” for that group, they may never innovate past what they have already done.
Most ideas have some gem of novel value, but that gem will never be discovered if the idea is killed too early. Ideas shouldn’t be judged in advance of sharing or recording them.
How to generate more creative ideas:
- Keep a list of every idea. Look for uncommon ideas, especially.
- Dissect each idea; find the parts of it that are novel. How does each idea change your perspective?
- Generate more ideas from those parts.
The memorable name for this process just has to be idea minglebingle.
Keep all ideas— especially the crazy ones. Then, mix.
Drawing © Ariana Dyer.
Thanks to Ariana Dyer for helping to revise this essay.