My 5 step idea generating process
An idea is a feat of association
In 2005 Steve Jobs talked about the concept of connecting the dots - the ability to combine skills in an original way to form something new and valuable. He indicated that a calligraphy class he attended at college, 10 years later, influenced the design of the first Apple Mac.
The ability to spot relationships between facts is very important in generating ideas. I draw upon the wisdom shared in the book A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young.
The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. - Albert Einstein
Idea generating process
Here is the five step process I use:
🔎 Gather: Collate materials specifically and loosely relating to a task or problem. Seek to understand the underlying principles and methods.
🧠 Digest: Mentally chew over the materials. Explore from different perspectives and seek interconnections and patterns, e.g. Our Decisions, Practice and their Outcomes.
🧘♂️ Step away: Set the task aside. Do something unrelated which energises. My Creative Momentum post explains the importance of walking to me.
💡 Bubble up: Allow ideas to surface naturally. Much of our thinking is subconscious. Ideas often come as we take a real or proverbial shower. I note them down as soon as I can.
🚗 Test: Put the idea into the world, submit it to criticism and adapt as needed. Be open to the suggestions and ideas of others.
My apps Nip To (find toilets and other amenities on a map) and Scarper (Tetris meets Candy Crush) are offspring of this five step idea generating process.
Building a Second Brain book by Tiago Forte
Steal Like an Artist post by Phil Martin
My 5 Step Learning Process post by Phil Martin
It is likely that the text font you are reading right now would not exist had Steve Jobs not attended his calligraphy class in 1972. Until next Sunday, see if the five step idea generating process works for you too.
Have fun generating ideas.