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Brainstorming for New Inventions

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Everyone hits a wall from time to time. This is nothing new and it shouldn't scare you. In fact, panicking when an idea doesn't hit you when you expect it to can make things even worse. Fear and anxiety are bad for your creative juices. It can also compromise your objective thinking and make you lower your standards. This is one of the worst pitfalls of the idea creation process and it leads to a lot of problems with idea realization, and basically wastes your time.

There is a way to boost your creativity and objectivity in a meaningful and objective way, and that is to include more people into your creative process. Two heads think better than one, right? How about five or six? There is strength in numbers and the best way to use it is through Brainstorming. There is a saying "Great minds think alike", but I doubt this is true since creative people will usually give you a different solution for the same problem, and that's the beauty of the whole thing.

The Rules

There are some general rules that are laid down in all forms of brainstorming so as to make it effective.

  • 5-12 people groups
    Any less, and you might make run out of ideas quickly, and the whole point is to generate as many ideas as possible, any more, and you will end up getting caught in shouting matches with everybody making their input.
  • Everybody gets a turn
    his will help you look at things from as many different angles as possible and generate more ideas. There should be no interjections, but building up on someone else's idea is more than welcome.
  • Play nice
    Ideas that are generated during brainstorming shouldn't be discussed upon in further detail and there should be no negative comments about anybody's idea since this can harm the creative process. It may also make people reluctant to contribute. Encourage silly ideas since these are the ones that usually work best.
  • Make sure each idea is written down or recorded
    Once people get their suggestions going, you will be surprised by the sheer number of ideas you can generate. You wouldn't want to forget about any of them.

As far as invention design goes, you can define a problem you want to solve with that particular product and then take turns with your team to see what ideas you can come up with. It is also not a bad idea to give your Brainstorming group some time to think about the problem before you dive into discussion.

The Equipment

You don't need much to hold up a quality Brainstorming session. A table so everyone can write down things they liked and thought of, a flipchart so all the ideas produced can be on display for the group, and that’s about it.

The Analysis

When you have finished filtering viable ideas from the ones that are not so great, you go into the analysis process where you decide which idea works best, or merge a couple of ideas to solve a single issue. This is also the idea expansion and discussion time to get the best final solution possible. Once you are done, feel free to give a shout for a free third party assessment in order to increase objectivity. Good luck and have fun.