018: Have You Reached Your Creative Peak?November 23, 2020
019: What Makes Something Creative? The Characteristics of Highly Innovative IdeasNovember 30, 2020
Not all ideas are equal. Some are okay, some are great. But don’t just throw those okay ideas away.
The key is to find that creative sweet spot so you can turn good ideas into great!
The 3 Types of Ideas
- Incremental or near-in idea – It’s not that interesting or exciting. It is an idea but it’s not going to set people’s hair on fire. We get all those ideas all the time. They’re fine but they’re not real barn burners.
- Far out idea – It’s an idea too exotic in some ways. It’s so far out, so weird, and so strange. People look at them and think it’s a pretty good idea. But it’s a little too much and a little too bizarre.
- The sweet spot – It’s the zone in between near and far. It’s the idea that’s going to have the most value. It’s not too far out but it’s also not too boring to be ignored.
What to Do with Far-Out Ideas
- Ask yourself what is it that really makes this idea a little too weird and a little too strange.
- Deconstruct it and take it apart. Look for ways to remove some of the elements of the idea. By taking certain elements out of the idea, you might reduce some of the moving parts or complexity of the idea.
- Test the idea. Do the ideas in stages where you can get proof of principle. Look for some sort of minimum viable product.
- Take up some of the weird aspects of it and get your colleagues and other people around you to feel a little bit more comfortable with it.
What to Do with Incremental Ideas
- Task unification
- Take a component of the idea
- Aside from its original job, assign it an additional job, something it wasn’t designed to do. So you’re actually forcing it to do something else that’s relevant in the surrounding area.
- Attribute dependency
This is the most difficult to learn and the most difficult to teach. But it does account for the majority of ideas and innovations out in the world.
The core behind this is the idea that as one thing changes, another thing changes.
- Windshield wipers that speed up or slow down depending on the amount of rain
- The lights of your car change whenever you pull up to the traffic light
Attribute dependency tends to yield smart ideas and smart products or services. They adapt to and they customize to the situation. They make themselves more functional, or more appropriate for what’s going on in that particular situation. So it allows you to build in that mechanism to make those ideas smart.
To hear more about how to find your creative sweet spot, listen to the full podcast episode here: Episode 017: Finding Your Creative Sweet Spot: How to Make an Idea More Appealing.