The fodder for ideas is everywhere. However, there are people that believe that all the best ideas have already been discovered. It is my belief that those people are simply not aware that new ideas exist. Have you noticed that once you are aware that a solution to a problem exists, you get a dozen ideas about the solution? However, if you are told a solution is impossible you cannot think of a single idea? The people that get ideas know they exist. The people that don’t get ideas, don’t know they exist.
Hundreds of Ideas
I am telling you now that for every problem there are hundreds of solutions, answers, ideas, and additional problems with additional solutions, answers, and ideas. The best way to illustrate this theory is through a quote by a turn of the 20th century, New York reporter, Lincoln Steffens:
“Nothing is done. Everything in the world remains to be done or done over. The greatest picture is not yet painted, the greatest play isn’t written, the greatest poem is unsung. There isn’t in all the world a perfect railroad, nor a good government, nor a sound law. Physics, mathematics, and especially the most advanced and exact of sciences, are being fundamentally revised. Chemistry is just becoming a science; psychology, economics, and sociology are awaiting a Darwin, whose work in turn is awaiting an Einstein. If the rah-rah boys in our colleges could be told this, they might not all be specialists in football, parties, and unearned degrees. They are not told it, however; they are told to learn what is known. This is nothing.”
I think this is beautifully stated. Instead of teaching our children to regurgitate known facts and ideas, teach them to use those facts and ideas to spark new, creative ideas that lead to innovative products and processes to solve modern problems. We need to teach our children how to solve problems that we haven’t even imagined yet.
Improve Upon the Existing
Consider the advancement of the mobile phone. In the early 1990’s only the uber-rich and important people had a car phone which was connected by a cord and was slightly smaller than the size of a shoe box. In the last 30 years we have witnessed major changes and improvements in the mobile phone industry to the point that your phone is also a camera, computer, radio, and gaming device in one small package. The modern mobile phone is not a sudden brainchild of a genius. It is the gradual improvement of an existing device made by many people’s ideas to solve known problems, such as needing separate devices for everything, phone size, and battery life.
Look around. Is there something in your home that causes you frustration? How about the clutter of too many remote controls, or finding a convenient place in the kitchen to put your computer or tablet which now holds all your recipes? What changes might you make to improve these frustrations?
At BrainSpark, we believe that there are an infinite number of ideas yet to be imagined. We believe that every person has the creative capacity to contribute to those ideas. First you need to nurture your creativity and learn new ways to look at problems. Then you need to follow a proven process to implement, test, and revise your ideas to come up with new solutions.
BrainSpark is committed to helping you fuel your creativity to ignite your innovation.