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When Generating Ideas Quantity Should Be Valued More Than Quality

Jun 5, 2008
How far can one idea take you? If you really think about it, America was founded on the power of ideas. It was one man's ideas to search the unknown which led to the discovery and development of America. Millions and millions of immigrants now have a new land to call home because of his passion for this idea and his driving ambition. And it all started with what some people thought was a far-fetched dream of exploring new territory.

To sail across the world to discover unknown, unchartered territory seems like a very high risk venture, even today. Columbus combined aspects of taking risks that have potentially very high rewards, which is a characteristic of a creative thinker. When Columbus announced his journey to find the new, free world he showed the world that not only was he an explorer, but also an entrepreneur with a creative mind.

What rewards was Columbus able to receive? Just look outside. What he was able to capture is what you look at everyday.

Columbus encompasses what the American dream is made of - taking one idea, fostering it to create his own opportunity and discover a land full of future opportunities. Think about what his one idea has done for millions of people. He courageously opened the doors of opportunity to himself, his family, his country and the rest of the world.

What could you possibly gain from harnessing your creative abilities? Just think about the example of Columbus.

All ideas are valuable. The flashy, obvious, crazy, very profitable ideas, are not the only ideas I am talking about. Creative thinkers know how valuable all ideas really are.

Creativity is a game of odds. Write that down.

Creativity, although very much an open system, it does have rules. Number one being you have to go big or go home. Basically what it comes down to, is you need to generate as many ideas as possible.

In the beginning of my career, I used to go help high school leadership groups across North America. I would help them come up with ideas for various different things - fundraising, generating more school spirit.

I would work with them for generally between an hour and an hour and a half, and our goal was to come up with a top 10 list of wow ideas, for whatever challenge we were working on.

Following the rules of creativity - I also told the students, go big or go home because quality comes from quantity. During the sessions we would generate as many ideas as humanly possible following that way of thinking. Write it down - Quality comes from quantity.

If you are trying to think of the next great idea, it won't come right away by itself. Remember, quality comes from quantity, so your objective is to generate as many ideas as possible.

When I was generating ideas with the student leadership groups, we would generally generate between 3,000 and 4,000 ideas in an hour and a half span. Were all those ideas good? Absolutely not. In fact, 99% of them were absolute crap.

At the end of the session, although we had quite a few crappy ideas, we did have 1% that were amazing! We put the odds of creativity in our favor by generating as many as possible. Like I mentioned before creativity is a game of odds, put them in your favor, the more ideas you generate.

Brainstorming groups and working with others to generate ideas together is a fantastic way to build large list of ideas. It is an extremely powerful process because once one person fires an idea out, it will start the wheels turning and all different types of ideas begin to emerge. One person's idea will trigger another person, who then make a connection to another; then another person shares another three idea based out of what the first person said. Having multiple wheels turning at once is very powerful and a chain reaction will occur.

I want you to picture a long line of Dominos going straight out in front of you. Wherever you are right now, it's going straight out in front of you, then it turns to the right, and then it curves back around, almost in a circle. But before it comes back it curves again the other way. It actually goes up a couple stairs. That whole line of Dominos, that whole reaction of Dominos can never happen unless the first Domino goes down. That first Domino, in the creative thinking process is something known as stimuli.

Look around you. Everything you can see, feel, taste, have experienced are types of stimuli. We use stimuli to act as the first Domino to get the ideas flowing. If you fire out an idea into a group of creative, alert, aware marketers, it will be their stimuli and an idea reaction, as I like to call it, will occur.

As the ideas are flowing, the chances of you generating a successful idea to benefit your business will increase. With creativity being an odds game, the more ideas you generate, the better your chances will be at being successful.

Sometimes ideas don't turn out, risks don't pay off, that is why you should generate as many ideas as possible. The more ideas you think of the more you are increasing your odds at succeeding.

When you see the latest product you realize that it was that one idea that is now turning that business into a million-dollar enterprise. That's all it takes is one idea to come up with the next big product, next technological boom, or to even cure a previously incurable disease.

One bright idea could change the way in which computer technology advances.

One idea could change how people live.

Being a creative thinker, you should embrace all of your ideas, never underestimate the power of the simplest one. Always remember the power of ideas.

It is easy to dismiss the seemingly simple idea that many people push aside. That idea however, could ignite the idea reaction in your brain. Once planted this idea has the potential to become a gorgeous flower. Ignoring it will kill it, but by fostering it and using your skill to care for it, that simple idea could ignite greatness.

Remember: You will never know what beautiful flower can grow from the seeds of an idea until it actually blossoms. No matter its complexity or size, all ideas must be valued.
About the Author
Stu McLaren has found out how real people all over the world are turning "Unusual" Business Ideas into magnificent moneymakers... and How You Can Too! These ideas are guaranteed to motivate you and inspire you to get your own money-making Business Idea Off The Ground... Today! 227 Unusual Business Ideas
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