Original ideas for a business or solving a business problem may seem random at first. That’s because an original idea is, by definition, a new concept to the world. But is it possible to catalyse getting more random ideas?
Recently I received a fun game called Pitch Deck made by “Made by Many”. It’s a game where the objective is to come up with the most original and innovative idea based on mixing a known concept and a target group and pitching it to an investor. For instance Craigslist for the police or LinkedIn for travellers. Then the investor decides if he or she would invest in your idea or not.
It’s a different game that challenges your mind and business acumen. And if you are very lucky, you might even come up with such an original idea that you are inspired to become an entrepreneur yourself.
The fundamental concept is based on the premise that an original idea comes from connecting previously uncorrelated things. In this case 1) a target group or objects, and 2) a known business model.
Forced pairing of concepts to make new ideas is a known method of brainstorming used in workshops and problem solving around the world. I read that this – combining otherwise unconnected concepts – is a known trait for many creative geniuses. E.g. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Zappos CEO Mark Hsieh, and famous scientist Albert Einstein are all known for having very messy desks. Messy desks create opportunity for relating otherwise unrelated thing. For more examples, take a look are these two articles from lifehacker and Canva.
I have also encountered people in school who had, to the best of my knowledge, absolutely no structure whatsoever. We’re talking about taking notes from lectures on random pieces of paper and tossing it crumbled into the schoolbag after class. But somehow getting through the studies, not just by the skin of their teeth, but with flying colours.
Personally, I keep a mostly clean desk. But I am letting go of order and structure in certain situations in the hopes that some original ideas pop up when I least expect it. E.g. when facing a particular problem that is difficult to solve. Stepping away from it and doing other, completely unrelated, activities sometimes spark an unrespecting association that helps me solve the problem.
It may also work for you if you can identify with being a person with mild symptoms of OCD. Why not try out a different approach and see if you achieve better results on a particular problem that requires out-of-the-box-thinking? A random idea might just pop into your mind when you least expect it.