Working in the advertising and design industry makes me try and think up new ideas all of the time. The creative process is challenging and oftentimes hard to come up with ideas that are unique and relevant to the audience.
I noticed something this weekend as I was playing a Scrabble-type game with my family. As I tried to form my individual letters into words I would try to come up with long words at the beginning of the game. (You know, like “antidisestablishmentarianism”, just kidding) but I found that I sat there trying to think of long, complex words to no avail. When I would finally give up on that and focus on getting 3-4 letter words that I could put together quickly, I had much more success getting rid of my letters. My Scrabble board would spiral in complexity and often I could form shorter words into longer ones.
I think this is a good example of things I’ve found to be true about coming up with good ideas:
Just get started. I find that I rarely think of anything decent when I wait until I have a “good idea”. Instead, just get started, brainstorm everything: Even the silly, impossible, already-been-done ideas. Put time into your decision process, but don’t wait for the “perfect idea” to get started creating.
Ideas start as simple, and become complex. I am never able to come up with good complex ideas right off the bat. No one sat down and thought “I’m going to design a car, here’s how the carburetor is going to work…” Start with a simple idea and complex systems will evolve from it. Don’t jump to the specifics quite so soon.
Just some thoughts for you today the next time you have to brainstorm some new idea. I’m sure I’m not the first to come up with these things, but I decided to just post instead of overthinking. (That was the point, wasn’t it?)