#ideas for business
How The Most Creative People In Business Generate New Ideas
The 100 people on 2015 s Most Creative People in Business list have achieved impressive breakthroughs across a wide swath of industries: finding a possible cure for Ebola, using drone technology to help save endangered animals, modeling jet engines with 3-D printers.
None of these breakthroughs came from resting easy on outdated ideas or settling into familiar ruts. And yet, even this illustrious group admits to getting stuck and actively seeking grist for the mill. So we put the following question to the group: Where or from whom do you seek out inspiration? What do you do when you re in a rut? And most importantly, how do you keep new ideas flowing? Here s what some of them had to say if you try them out yourself, one each day of the work week, you ll have almost a month of options to help spark some creative new ideas of your own.
Jens Bergensten. lead creative designer, Minecraft, #5:
Before I started working on Minecraft, we would figure out new games by going on small holidays. We used to go to Berlin. They have these really great around-the-clock Internet cafes, and we d just work on something. We d also attend Game Jams, where you re given just random things and have limited time to produce a game. It s quite often that you are forced to think of something that works within the theme and, like I said before, I don t know where I m going and try to make it fun during this 32- or 48-hour Game Jam. You either produced crap or finished something interesting, and the interesting thing would end up in a pile. Then when we would actually need to start a launch project, we would look back in the pile.
Dana Mauriello. Etsy, #7:
I am obsessive with finding, cataloging, and doing new activities. A dance-floor meditation? A talk on game design? A tattoo convention? Done, done, and done. I am on an endless quest to learn about and personally experience as many diverse subcultures as possible and never leave home without my adventure backpack and a notebook so that I can collect inspiration and log new ideas.
Greg Hoffman. Nike, #12:
I pull a lot of inspiration from traveling around the world. One in particular is Brazil, where I ve been going since 1997. Whether you re talking architecture or furniture or digital, the design is modern but with a soul. Which mirrors Nike. I ve been to Brasilia, the modernist mecca that [Oscar] Niemeyer designed. Talk about being representative of an incredible, bold, disruptive vision. It s an entire city designed in exacting and uncompromising detail. It forces you to look at your own work and ask: Are we really pushing things as far as we can?
Jermaine Affonso. Clickhole, #13:
Okay, so out of everyone in the world authors, humanitarians, entrepreneurs, innovators, Elon Musk, scientists curing AIDS right this second I m going to say Kanye West. I know, I hate me too.
Martha Murray. Boston Children s Hospital, #15:
If one project is getting stalled for some reason, I switch gears to another project or two for a while until the problem with the first one works itself out. Sometimes if I am stuck, and leave a problem to sit for a bit, the answer shows up at a traffic light or when I am reading something totally unrelated. It s like when you are trying to remember someone s name and once you stop trying, it pops into your brain. It s the best part of having a bunch of things going on at the same time.
Alex Lifschitz. Crash Override, #18:
Creativity isn t just an abstract font for me personally I tend to just look at those who have successfully overcome issues similar to the one we re dealing with, and try to imitate not their solutions, but their attitude and approach to it, and take it to heart.
Barbara Bush. Global Health Corps, #29:
The need comes first, then the ideas. I m also an endorphin freak, and working out, running, and playing certainly creates the proper mind setting for creativity.
Ava DuVernay. director, #32:
[Creative inspiration] is all around. Nothing s ever boring. I m never bored. Even if I m sitting with my oldest cousin out in the country in Alabama and no one else is around. No way that s boring. I m going to sit there, I m gonna watch what she does, I m gonna listen to every story. Everything seeps in. Like I m standing in line at the pharmacy, I m not bored. I m looking at that lady wiping her snotty kid s nose like, is she really gonna use her hand? Wow, that s love. What s her story?
Larry Wilmore. The Nightly Show. #44:
I m always inspired by the small stories I see about people who are doing the right thing with no attention given to it. I used to watch Charles Kuralt on CBS s Sunday Morning show, and they used to have all those stories. Also, when I see people around the world in the most dire situations doing stuff. Malala [Yousafzai], what she went through. man, if you re not inspired by that, there s just something dead inside of you. What they have to face in that part of the world, it s just ridiculous. And then on a personal level, my kids inspire me all the time.
I read everything I can get my hands on, flip through the racks at Zara and Forever 21 (it s like a meditation), browse IRL in as many bookstores as possible, and go to the club. Listening to good music makes you smarter! I also love to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If I m stuck on a writing or strategy project, I write freehand on a legal pad in a weird place without Internet no environment that s too lovely or I get distracted. Other methods: Go outside and walk, listen to something, smoke cigarettes, tell jokes.
Imrad Amed. Business of Fashion, #54:
Most of my ideas come from drawing patterns across conversations I have with different types of people technology investors, young fashion design students, a CEO. This variety is stimulating, and offers many different perspectives on the things I am thinking about.
Janet Mock. host, activist, #57:
I usually take my cockapoo out on a walk, I do some kind of physical activity, whether that s Bikram Yoga or SoulCycle. Usually it s some kind of creative activity. Or it s completely turning my mind off and watching something that doesn t really challenge. Like Real Housewives of Atlanta. Literally watching people argue about one little thing of shade that they threw.