5 Ways To Get New Ideas
I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas.Albert Einstein
Writing – you may think that this sounds boring but writing is one of the most efficient methods for coming up with new ideas!
Writing can be a method to generate new ideas or to find solutions for a defined problem. For example, if you have the problem that you can’t get out of your bed in the mornings, an idea that is generated by writing could be an alarm clock that wakes you up with a loud sound and then flies away. So how do you start with writing? First of all, you need a quiet place to think. Then you can decide whether you want to use paper and pen or a computer/tablet/mobile. I would recommend turning off unimportant notifications, so there’s nothing to stop you from thinking. Then, start writing. That’s it. Write about your day. Write about your problems. Write about your feelings. For example, if you are a game developer and you write about how hungry you are, then you have a new game idea: A game where your objective is to steal food from a chef. In my opinion, there is no perfect way for writing – you need to find the solution that suits you the best. The last thing to tell about writing is that there’s no need to feel bad if you cannot come up with new ideas right away. That’s OK and normal! You first need to clear your head with writing. You don’t need a poetical masterpiece, you even don’t need to write whole sentences. Words, paintings, sketches – everything works, you just need to find out what works the best for you.
2. Turn the world on its head
The world seems ordered and organised, but imagine it would not be that way.
Make the world surreal. Let’s start with an example for a better understanding. Normally, there are menus in restaurants. So imagine there are no menus in restaurants. That would be interesting. Many ideas can evolve out of this thinking experiment. Restaurants, that surprise you with the food. An app that tells every menu of every restaurant and recommends gastronomical institutes based on your personality and interests, compatible with your smartwatch. Restaurants where you bring the ingredients and the chef cooks for you. An all-rounder restaurant, that doesn’t need menus because a 3d-printer can prepare every meal you want. You see where that’s going. Infinite possible ideas, some are good, some are bad. But here’s a little reminder that you should never throw an idea away, just because “it sounds weird” or “my friend said he doesn’t like that”. Think big, think different.
3. What are you doing?
That isn’t a good advice, or is it?
Is there something you do that no one else does? Be attentive! Maybe you always drink some special smoothie mixed out of your favourite fruits and some other ingredients while gaming. Everyone in your friend group thinks that it tastes good. So here you go. Your shake for gamers! There are amazingly many things some people do but no one ever thought about founding a company surrounding it. Those little ideas are hidden underneath infinity layers of “that’s weird”, “why are you doing that?” and “that’s dumb”.
4. Stop annoying me!
Little problem solvers everyone needs are the billion dollar ideas!
Everyone knows it. The one thing that stresses you, annoys you and just makes you mad. You’re annoyed by wasps and other insects? Develop a spray that makes them go but doesn’t hurt those little helpers. You’re annoyed by common shoe laces because they never work properly? Design innovative shoelaces. Maybe you are an allergy sufferer and you are annoyed because you always need to pay attention to the ingredients when you are shopping. That’s an awesome app idea. An app that allows you to scan items in the grocery store and tells you if it contains ingredients from your blacklist. It also could be an extension for the browser that warns you when there are any “blacklist items” in your shopping cart.
It’s those little things which everyone has but no one pays attention to. Take one week and always take note when you’re annoyed. I’m sure it’s going to be a long list. Ask your friends if there is anything that annoys them. Infinite problems, infinite ideas, infinite solutions. You got this.
5. FPT – First Principles Thinking
FPT – One of the most successful methods used by entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers all over the world. How can you use it to come up with valuable ideas? Let’s start with an example for better understanding.
Let’s imagine you want to use FPT as a worker in the car section. You want to come up with new ideas for innovative motors so you start with what’s possible in the physical and chemical/biological perspective. What’s the deepest layer of a motor? Your objective is to completely forget about how motors normally work. If there was no motor in the world, how would you start developing one? He needs to be environmentally friendly, efficient, safe and easy to create. You come up with different ideas, one of them is the electromotor – an innovative idea. You dig deep until you find the deepest layer of the truth and the possibilities. Don’t throw away any ideas, one idea could be worth billions at some time. The steps for being successful with FPT are:
- Ask what’s the deepest layer of a thing: What does the thing need to work properly? But don’t use something that exists. Completely throw away your knowledge about that thing, start from scratch.
- Then think about how a new concept could look like. Focus on the essential aspects, then continue with designing and improving usability.
- Be creative! Don’t throw away your ideas, they could be awesome!
Thank you very much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this blog post about how to come up with new ideas. If you have feedback or any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment or contact me via social media.