ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Archive for October, 2008

Problem Solving for Cash

Posted by Plish on October 30, 2008

I came across this website for Innocentive.  You are able to look at various problems and then propose solutions to which you can receive money in return. 

You will be bound by confidentiality issues with this so it can stay on the up and up.  It’s a great way to polish your problem solving skills and maybe make a few bucks in the meantime.

Good Luck!!

Posted in idea generation, patents, problem solving | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s All About Spin

Posted by Plish on October 28, 2008

There is an amazing optical illusion here that is worth checking out.

There’s a great lesson here to be learned in perspective and how looking at things in multiple ways yields new information.  Try training yourself to look at this in multiple ways.  I did it, you can too!

Posted in Brain Stimulation Tools, cognitive studies, Science | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Creation of Music

Posted by Plish on October 27, 2008

I was surfing over at oddmusic and I am amazed at some of the instruments that have been invented! 

The Hank Drum and its derivatives are really slick!  I personally use a cool wire mesh garbage can for some interesing sounds.

Flipped Over Makes a Cool Drum

Flip Over to Make Drum

So the creativity exercise for today is to play with a musical instrument, or design a new instrument.  Who knows, you might be creating a tool that will increase creativity!

Posted in Brain Stimulation Tools, idea generation, Musical Creativity, Science | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Creative Gems: An Interview with Creativity Expert, Michael Michalko

Posted by Plish on October 23, 2008

 I had the pleasure and honor to interview Creativity Expert, Michael Michalko. Michalko is one of the most highly acclaimed creativity experts in the world and author of the best sellers Thinkertoys (A Handbook of Business Creativity), ThinkPak (A Brainstorming Card Deck), and Cracking Creativity (The Secrets Of Creative Genius). His web-page is http://www.creativethinking.net . I hope you enjoy this first interview of the series , Creative Gems. – Michael Plishka

(The entire interview is in PDF format here.)

(Plishka) In your experience, what is the most common obstacle to creative thinking?

(Michalko)The dominant factor in the way our minds work is the buildup of patterns that enable us to simplify the assimilation of complex data. These patterns are based on our reproducing our past experiences in life, education, and work that have been successful in the past. We look at 6 X 6 and 36 appears automatically without conscious thought. We examine a new product for our company and know it is a good design at an appropriate price. We look at a business plan and know that the financial projections are not good. These things we do routinely, because our thinking patterns give us precision as we perform repetitive tasks, such as driving an automobile or doing our job. – Click here to keep reading!>

Posted in Creative Gems, Creative Thinking Techniques, Great Creative Minds, idea generation, Interviews, Nature of Creativity, problem solving | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

TED-Not the Airline

Posted by Plish on October 22, 2008

Technology – Entertainment – Design

If you haven’t checked it out before, there some really inspirational and informational videos over at TED.

It’s a great resource for creative and challenging thought.  So stroll on over and check out the video presentations, and if you’re feeling adventurous, become a TED member-it’s free.

See you over there!

Posted in Creativity Videos, problem solving, Science, Team-Building, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Case Study: There’s Madness in the Method(TM)…

Posted by Plish on October 20, 2008

One way to come up with new ideas for products, or to just think creatively, is to look at existing products and see what can be done to improve them.

I had just worked on my car and and went in to wash my hands.  With slightly oil soaked hands I went to the bathroom to wash up.  I quickly plunged a dollop of my favorite Method™ soap into my palm.  Method™ soaps are cool, pure and simple.  They smell great while not being too feminine for a man and the packaging is hip with a splash of fun thrown in. 

I was disappointed then when an obvious flaw in the product became apparent.  Before I mention it, take a look at the pic and tell me if you can see what the issue is (It’s the soap on the left). 

Where is the madness in the Method(TM)?

Where is the madness in the Method(TM)?

Guess it?

The problem is the cool logo on the top of the bottle.  It’s raised ever so slightly.  When a dirty hand is placed on top of the bottle, dirt gets packed into the edges of the raised logo.  In a twist of irony, while the soap got my hands clean (and it DID do a great job), the bottle top got dirty and the raised edges of the logo made it extremely difficult to clean.  I had to scrub the soap bottle dispenser with soap to clean it.  That’s not cool.

I put an empty bottle from another company for comparison in the pic.  If the top gets dirty on that one, what do I do?  Wipe it and it’s done.  Two seconds of work.

A key to being creative is to keep your eyes open for ways of improving things.  What would you do to this bottle to keep the coolness factor but make it easier to clean?

Posted in Case Studies, idea generation, problem solving | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

The Trend is Your Friend (Until the End…)

Posted by Plish on October 19, 2008

One way of stimulating new ideas is to visit websites like Trendhunter or Trendwatching.  These sites are comprised of copious amounts of information as to what is considered hot and, in some ways, what is not.

Simply visit these sites, look at the pictures of the trends and use them as a springboard to new ideas.  It’s even more powerful when the trends are combined!

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Posted in Brain Stimulation Tools, Creative Thinking Techniques, idea generation | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Paradox- again…

Posted by Plish on October 15, 2008

How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress. -Niels Bohr

In Bohr’s mind, the paradox was an essential part of coming up with solutions to problems.  This point cannot be overstressed.  Paradox is the nursery from which the most brilliant ideas come forth.     When we are confronted with a problem is which increasing “A” decreases “B” and yet we need A and B to both increase, we are forced with having to redefine the problem and find solutions outside the way we’ve been thinking. 

Einstein once said,

 “You can never solve a problem on the level it was created.” 

This goes hand in hand with Bohr’s statement.  Where do you see problems that are seemingly insurmountable?  Look beyond the origins of the problem, into the paradoxes present, and then you’ll truly start seeing solutions.

Posted in Creative Thinking Techniques, Great Creative Minds, idea generation, Nature of Creativity, problem solving | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Love of Self – Essential to Creativity

Posted by Plish on October 13, 2008

Great reminder from the Daily OM.  This little piece reflects on falling in love with one’s self, and consequently seeing the wonder and joy each one of us is.  The truth here is that if we see ourselves with wide open eyes and wonder, we will be much more open to the ideas we generate and we’ll enjoy being creative!

Love yourself and see your creativity skyrocket!

Posted in Nature of Creativity, ZenStorming | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Making the Impossible, Possible

Posted by Plish on October 13, 2008

This video/product is amazing.  As a musician I began drooling (Ok not real drool, but figurative drool).  There are soo many applications for this.  I really love the following paradoxical statement the inventor said in this video:

“For theoretical reasons I thought it would be impossible. But the more I pondered the subject, the more I began to see that what doesn’t work in theory, can still work in reality.”

 

Posted in Musical Creativity, Science | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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