Ever since childhood, I’ve always loved reading historical books about the bright ideas that changed the world and the inspirational people who brought them to life.
There’s something magical about studying the history of famous inventions, mistakes that turned into big businesses, and everyday items had surprisingly haphazard beginnings.
But we can’t consume our way to innovation. The only way to ratchet up our species is to create.
And so, many years ago I started keeping an innovation log. An ongoing database of ideas for products, services, inventions, businesses, organizations and other types of media. Mostly as a writing exercise, but also because I love solving the creative problem, not just studying it.
Productive daydreaming is a worthwhile muscle to build. Fleshing out new ideas that could potentially improve humanity and save money and deliver joy to people who need it most, this process is energizing to me. It makes me feel useful. It challenges me to create value in the world, even if my absurd ideas don’t change it.
Now, one of the insights I’ve uncovered along this creative process is, behind every moment of unhappiness, anxiety, loneliness, frustration, anger, inconvenience and confusion, is a new innovation waiting to be born.
That’s my favorite part of the process. Scouring message boards and product reviews and customer complaints and my own life experience to find those moments. Those insider signals. Those tiny details that trigger a whole world, act as shorthand for a shared culture and capture where certain people have landed.
Anyway, over time, that innovation log turned into a series of blog posts, which evolved into a series of corporate workshops, which inspired me to develop some parody commercial spots, which birthed the idea for my product development and innovation gameshow and card game, all of which became the source material for this book.
Hope you enjoy winning playing the game of creativity as much as I do.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Who’s stealing your ideas?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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