Your mind expands relative to the size and number of ideas it holds. Thinking is what makes us human, so why not explore some ideas? New ideas, alternative ideas, ideas of your own. An idea turns a block of stone into a sculpture. People go all out when they believe in an idea – it’s a fantastic illustration of the passion and power that can lie behind an idea.
Ideas must be nurtured and treated with respect and reverence. Don’t diss other people’s ideas. Learn to listen to other’s ideas, and perhaps build your own with input from others. While morally we shouldn’t steal ideas, sometimes it’s ok to use them for inspiration!
Being in a collaborative coworking space you’re bound to hear and get involved in a number of cool ideas every day. Just like every great thinker, take the time to mull over the ideas you hear. Pick them apart and make them your own. Some of the world’s greatest inventions have come about as a result of altering someone else’s idea.
But how do you increase or develop your creativity? One sure fire way to develop an idea-making mentality is to think of alternative ways to solve a mundane problem. Like the guy who invented the dish scrubber with a built-in washing up liquid dispenser. Or the person who thought of the little arrow on the car dashboard which points to where the fuel tank opening is.
Creativity leads to greater creativity. Drawing, keeping notes, a journal; these all help fire up the creative neurons. Even setting time every day to read – on the bus or tube, perhaps – helps encourage creativity. There’s an irony that developing good daily habits – a creative routine, if you will – boosts your capacity for original ideas.
Create every day. That might seem like a twee Instagram post, but deciding to commit to creative activities really does help. Learning what time of day your mind is at its most productive is a useful exercise. Some of us are morning people, while some of us only really come alive after midnight. Learn what time of day is best for you to tap into those creative juices – but don’t be afraid to take a break, either. Sometimes going out for a walk or grabbing a coffee brings badly needed fresh perspective.
Remember the cliché healthy body, healthy mind too – you might choose to hit the gym to get the sweat and the creative juices flowing.
In her book, Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change the World, Pagan Kennedy describes how a lot of great ideas emerge from thinking about something else. Being open to what’s around you can help.
But we digress. Let’s imagine you’ve had a great idea. You need to be passionate about it, because passion – some might call it a madness – is what keeps you going. Look at Elon Musk, Salvador Dali, even Clive Sinclair who not only invented the pocket calculator but went onto create the first tiny home computer.
These people were and are passionate, passionate enough to pursue their ideas to the end.
Secondly, don’t try and change the world with your idea solo. Many great inventions come through communication, community and testing. If you’ve had a late night and developed your multi-million dollar big idea, it’s a good idea to check if there are forums, chat rooms or websites where you might talk about it with like-minded people.
While the ‘bakery’ might be fun, it highlights the need to put your ideas out there, and look for feedback to get the idea going. Socialising is, of course, a fantastic excuse to get honest feedback about your idea.
Get it going. Don’t dream about it forever. Don’t forget that however awesome your idea is, it’s pointless unless you act upon it. And it’s easier to get something made than you might think.
If your idea is a physical one, you’ll need a prototype. With 3D printers now widely available, and more inventive apps on your humble phone than top engineers and scientists had access to just 50 years ago, it’s time to turn the power of your idea into powerful reality.
Today, there are even new ideas around how to nurture an idea – with manufacturing, building and printing to order – and a world where your idea can become a reality quicker and easier than ever before.
When your idea is out there, having gone through the curve of thinking, creating, feedback and prototyping/ testing, you should take steps to protect your idea – of course. It’s beautiful to share your idea, or perhaps elements of it, but ultimately it’s useful to be credited with being the genius who invested so much brain power, time and energy in an idea.
Credit where credit’s due, and all that.
Make sure you keep a record of all your documents, don’t reveal too much, and if it really is the next big thing, get it patented.
You’re already an ideas person. You’re involved in the idea of developing new ways of working. You’ve broken – or are breaking – out of the office-bound, 9-5 masses and are seeking fulfilment in different areas. Ideas are more important than ever before. Dreamers, reformers, people who want to re-imagine the sandwich, this is your era. The ‘old world order’ is breaking down, and fresh thinking is required in the brave new world. Global connectivity can be embraced and celebrated, rather than feared.
Part of taking your idea to the next level is embracing the fear. As Chris Anderson, TED Curator puts it: “A world informed by reasoned thinking will be a very different world than one informed by dark, instinctual reactions. Ideas matter. And if ideas matter, openness matters. Ideas can’t be contained by borders. They’re for all of us.”
Do you want to immerse yourself in an environment filled with like-minded individuals, where your ideas can flourish? Join one of our Areaworks spaces to find just that! Book a tour and we can show you around. Your next big idea could be closer than you think!