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Your ideas are bad.

Creativity: generate a bunch of ideas, then pick the best ones.

Your ideas are bad.

And that's good.

The recipe for creativity is simple: generate a ton of ideas, then pick the best one. The catch is that you must generate a bunch of bad ideas before the good ones appear.

Julian Shapiro calls this the Creativity Faucet: “Visualize your creativity as a backed-up pipe of water. The first mile is packed with wastewater. The wastewater must be emptied before clear water arrives.”

This pipe only has one faucet, and there is no shortcut to getting to good ideas besides flushing the bad ones out.

Generating lots of bad ideas is surprisingly hard. We have a built-in critic that stops us from expressing truly bad ideas. We don’t want to look dumb, even to ourselves. To overcome this, aim for quantity over quality when ideating. No judgment. Just jot down the silliest, craziest ideas you have. Try generating 100 ideas in 10 minutes (it’s a lot, I know).

Once you have a pile of ideas, put on your curator hat and pick out the ones that look promising. The best part about this process is that it always gives you a starting point, eliminating the dreaded blank page.

Take this to the next level by generating exponentially more ideas as a team. It’s way scarier to share bad ideas in a group, even in psychologically safe settings. So here's a compromise: each person brainstorms on their own, but chooses whether or not to share with the group. This way, your team still benefits from the creative process. I'm generally happy with having my terrible ideas torn apart because I know we're all working towards a better outcome.

Don’t think, just start.

I tweaked this on Fri Apr 19 2024 03:25:39 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)