Need new ideas? Do it like Hemingway, brainstorm drunk, design sober. — Day 14/1000
Ernest Hemingway wrote “The old man and the sea” and
“for whom the bell tolls “ and is considered one of the great writers.
His advice for aspirational authors: write drunk, edit sober.
DISCLAIMER: I am not talking about literally getting drunk here…
I am talking about freedom of any judgment when you come up with new ideas and record them for later review, bringing some objectivity to the process.
The same can be applied when you want to design a new product.
When I was an architect, my colleagues and I visited a senior architect, Roark, who happened to mentor our boss a few years back.
In the meeting, as Roark was talking about one of his projects, our colleague asked a question that seemed like an innocent question to me.
Not for the person who was an associate of Roark, though; she made a big deal about what “kind of question” that was.
Needless to say, that killed the room; nobody dared ask another question to him, worried it might be stupid.
This is how creativity is killed in teams.
You want the team to have leeway and space to explore a particular problem.
“If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.” — Albert Einstein.
During World War 2, engineers from both sides of the war brainstormed many ideas on how best to win. When so much effort was being made to be the best at ending human lives, there were quite a several designs that were breakthroughs in the field they were operating on.
We know of these breakthroughs because we still use them today, such as cruise missiles, Jet planes, precision bombing, the special forces, radar, submarines, etc.
These innovations were tested in battle and were refined in the subsequent years after the war was over.
Let’s talk about these things:
Tanks had such a massive rate of technological development in the 20th century.
First seen in Europe in World War one and then present in almost every theatre of war in World war two.
There has been so much research done on armor, mobility, and firepower during the second world war that there has been a massive transformation of the tank design and doctrine.
There have been a lot of crazy tank design ideas, and then there is this:
Is this idea stupid? Is this idea wrong?
Maybe, maybe not.
The product didn’t fit the market it was designed for, and hence they found a product that fits.
The Wallace Leaping Tank really was built on the principle of using explosives to jump out vertically and lean forward to maneuver over the enemy fire.
It could retract its er… leg? and would become a pillbox.
So don’t worry if your idea sounds stupid right now…
It’s just too early.
Keep creating new things.
OVERPRODUCE AND CULL
OVERPRODUCE AND CULL.