Thursday, November 12, 2015

How to Generate More Good Ideas

Methods to Try, Questions to Ask and Apps to Use

Article published on Zapier.com written by Belle Cooper / October 23, 2014

[Find the article here.]

I recently found this great article written last year. I find the content and message to be timeless on the important subject of creativity and generating ideas. We published a previous post on the creative process, and this article expands on this topic. 

Some of the valuable points and quotes from this article include:

  • "Every artist gets asked the question, 'Where do you get your ideas?' The honest artist answers, 'I steal them.'" - Austin Kleon, Author ("Steal Like an Artist")
  • "Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something." - Steve Jobs
  • "You can't have good ideas unless you're willing to generate a lot of bad ones." - Seth Godin
  • "You've got to be free to say any dumb thing, because a lot of times when you say something stupid, a good idea arises from it." - Thomas Schnauz, Breaking Bad (TV Show) Writer
  • "Not everything that goes into the wide end of your idea funnel should be utterly change-the-world-I-have-to-make-this-happen-at-all-costs, yet at some point in that funnel from idea to product someone will have to be personally convicted of the idea and want to fight for it." - Stef Lewandowski, founder of app maker Makeshift


This article highlights some additional thoughts from Steve Jobs on the value of experiences in helping us generate new ideas. Jobs said creative people are able to "connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things." In his observation, creative people consistently have "had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people."

I agree wholeheartedly with Jobs' perspective on experiences and how for some people it informs and inspires their creativity. Travel experiences are a perfect example. When I travel I often focus on what I can learn and observe about the people and their environments. The habits they practice, the beautiful things they create, and how they interact with each other and the world around them. These experiences definitely influence and feed my creative abilities, and it's one of the many ways we can continue to develop our ability to generate great ideas.

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