Great Ideas

There's more than one way to nurture an idea until it bears fruit.

General Approach

No one way is going to work best for all ideas, but here's a general scheme to frame your efforts:
  1. Look at your idea. Observe it from different perspectives and angles.
  2. Take your idea apart. Use different approaches. Try looking at each part as a separate idea.
  3. Add to/remove from your idea. Your idea should be complete, but not overdone.
  4. Modify/Substitute parts. Find out which works best.
  5. Put the parts together. Use different designs and orderings.
  6. Combine ideas together. In different ways.
  7. Use your idea. Adapt it for a special purpose. Maybe some new ideas will occur to you.

What else can you do with a great idea?

Tear it apart Brush off the dust Advance the rate Transform the grip Vary the form Protect it with glass Keep your humor Swap a single part Force it together Modify the front, back, sides, top, bottom Smooth the rough edges Analyze the errors Improve the harmony Make it helpful Gild it with gold Make it smaller Make it jump Attach different instruments to it Make some parts bigger Ask the experts Get your facts straight Play with it Divide it up in different ways Ice it down Find something good about it List other uses Lift it up Judge alternatives Expand the limits Make an example of it Correct the level Strengthen it with iron Tool it in leather Join parts in new ways Keep it simple Understate Laugh about it Does it look like rain today? Make it smarter Raise it higher Adjust the rhythm Add time Electrify Move a mountain Change the lettering Reverse motion Vary the apparatus Make it lighter Put it together in a different way Replace the middle Give it a kick Translate to another language Mold it in metal Increase memory Pour liquids into it Reduce the tempo Put it on a shelf Fold it up Make it shorter Change the measure Meet with others How does it grow? How's the market doing? Exaggerate Make it friendly Machine the parts Develop a detailed enumeration Vary the units Another viewpoint Modify the mass Attract attention with it Find another way Find other uses Build a bread board Carve it into wood Ask a child Survey the industry Swap tops Consider solid, liquid, gas phases Make it better Bulk up the weight Twist it Increase quality Add textures Automate Wave it around Take the path less traveled Bridge the gap Weather-proof it Make it work Sharpen the edges Wash it Write a guide for it Polish the buttons Turn it around Chain it together Make it more distinctive Discuss it with others Another angle Clock the speed Make it fly Add examples Slice it up Make it narrower Make it fail safe Go for a swim Switch windows Vary the content Drain it to the bilge Go for a walk Make it wider Mold it in wax Ask how high? Make it ring Upgrade the wiring Add a door Create a working model Make it last a long time Add a brake Put a cork in it Make it more streamlined Box it up Cushion the shock Exchange cores How does it help the nation? Replace the frame Bottle it Miniaturize Make it bigger Add sound Overhaul the engine Roll the dice Add sound effects Knit it in wool Sand the rough spots Pick a number Write about it Dig a mole hole Oil the parts Make it more durable Try something new Observe closely Tweak the process Convert power Exchange parts Write copious notes Flavor to taste Reverse action and reaction Think "Barbecue" Make it lower Rub it Get a second opinion Occupy less space Make it use less room Make it three dimensional Paint it How does it smell? Sleep on it Make it stronger How is society affected? Roll it around Organize the process Give it a name Make it simpler Transform the operation Correct how it runs Change the order Follow a different set of rules Replace the bulbs Play it to music Switch purposes Write a paper Spindle it Make it easy Illustrate it Substitute people Alter the size Make it brighter Exchange relationships Replace the siding Enrich it with silver Trade places Make it more effective Bake it Record your results Polish the surface Re-position Pull, don't push Adjust the adjustability Read Smooth it with silk Add functions Sharpen a point Shake it Choose something else Lighten it Ask questions Run by land, by sea, by air Alter the seating What's the science? Make less noise Think "Hamburger" Expand the dimensions Change the temperature Expand the range Zoom in/out Make it more natural Make it louder Substitute a different scale Chisel it in stone Teach others about it Test it thoroughly Color it Connect another system Revise something Put theory into practice Switch supports A different thought Add other parts Think inside, outside, beneath, above, beside the box Other times Try it in summer, fall, winter, spring Issue a statement Stretch it out Make it more efficient Go deeper Can it with tin Roughen the surface Restructure Make it transportable Talk about it Go backwards and forward Make it economical Push, don't pull Other ways to stop Entertain suggestions Add new ingredients Ring it with brass Reverse cause and effect Change the way it's built Get it dirty Does it burn safely? Concentrate it Would it look better in steel? Vary a stitch Boil it Exchange the canvas Balance it Change the behavior Make it more understandable Convert a step Make it more comfortable Other ways to start Full steam ahead Compare it to the competition Increase current Lengthen it Shuffle and resort the parts Transform the base Change the focus How did you discover it? Trade stages Augment the controller Add aroma Experiment Look at the layers Alter the action Make it more flexible Curve the straight lines Clad it with copper Make a decision with it Have it make copies Alter its direction Utilize another development Make it faster Elaborate the design Scour history for priors Put a cover on it How are you going to distribute it? Amend the authority Add motion Educate yourself in theory Revise the body Switch the connections Make it amusing Identify significant events How does it sound? Compress it Keep it clean Drill a hole into it Modify the amount Make it more maintainable Do something on impulse Vary conditions Enrich with art Substitute color schemes Add more to it Change the focus Look at it from a distance Heat it up Try it night and day Swap substances Group things together Rise higher Reason things out Smooth it out in linen Save your senses Compose narrative Try something else

More great ideas are available at

J. W. Rider Consulting
Box 1806
Herndon, VA 20172-1806