Create Ideas That Date and Mate

If you want to flex your creative muscles you’ll be interested in my top three suggestions for developing ideas brimming with possibility. These suggestions guide my posts for and my career which relies on dreaming up ideas often at a moment’s notice.

© Vege /

© Vege /

1.     Create the right space

I reckon the best ideas come from a sense of openness, not when your mind is cluttered. No wonder ideas are transplanted in our minds as we sleep, lie in bath tubs or go about simple routines like making cups of tea.

There’s a legend that says the discovery of the structure of DNA as a double helix was inspired by a dream. This discovery, by James Watson and Francis Crick, changed the course of modern medicine and science. According to the legend, Watson was shown interlinking spiral staircases in a dream and the rest, as they say, is history.

2.     Consider a bigger purpose

Photo credit: Sydney Morning Herald

Photo credit: Sydney Morning Herald

Ideas that speak to something larger usually resonate with people and communities as they appeal to our sense of doing good.

Smart TXTBKS is a great example of a commercial idea appealing to a higher purpose. Developed by Philippines largest telecom provider Smart, it’s an initiative that uploads school text books to old SIM cards and turns the content into text messages. Old mobile phones become e-readers and old SIM cards are textbooks.

What I love most about Smart TXTBKS, apart from connecting words and people, is that it was created to overcome the problem that most Filipinos can’t afford a smart phone.

It’s such a gobsmacking idea that its creators won the mobile category at this year’s Cannes Lions creative communication awards.

3.     Make sure your ideas are ready for sex

© anyaberkut /

© anyaberkut /

Magic happens when your ideas can date and mate with others to produce a grander idea. The attraction and stickiness of ideas to each other can’t be beat.

Online portal HarvardConnection, developed by twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, was an idea that eventually mated with another big idea of Mark Zuckerberg, who took things to the next level and founded Facebook.

Another great sticky idea came from Rosalind Franklin whose pioneering research and concepts on DNA dated and mated with those of Watson and Crick. The scientific duo expanded Franklin’s concepts, leading to their world-changing discovery.

Bummer news for Franklin, though. Unlike the Winklevoss twins and Watson and Crick, she didn’t get a payout or formal recognition for her pioneering ideas and efforts.

  • What techniques do you use to develop ideas full of possibility?


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