Posts Tagged ‘creative’

Brainstorm Follow-up – Fashion

01/09/2011

Each Monday we explore an edge on a new issue or existing problem. The spade question acts as a catalyst for creative ideas and functional improvement. This Monday we asked:

What’s missing in the fashion industry that caters to the ever-growing need for design differentiation, customization and consumer preference?

Note that this was not designed as a genuine spade question, but as a general opener for ideas within the fashion industry at large.

Here are some of the ideas that our team and our readers came up with.


1. Focus on Children: A line that was all-the-rave for children. Top-notch high-end quality yet affordable durable and comfortable for kids, with outfits aimed specifically at making kids look great! – A.L.

2. Custom Shoes: Another custom market that can be tapped into is for high-quality stylish shoes in the sub-$140 range – Y.K.

3. An online builder app used to design affordable customizable made-to-fit clothing. – A.S.

– Designers can put up designs and potential buyers could vote on the ones they like. – M.L.

– Another section could enable fashionistas to design their own outfits from scratch with step by step instructions and tips.

– Yet another feature could permit people to upload pictures of themselves or their favorite celebrity (with approximate body measurements and “try-on” various assortments of outfits, accessories, hair-do’s, etc.

Synopsis:

Design today may give an edge to up-and-coming designers in the same way that YouTube made Justin Bieber into a celebrity. It wasn’t JUST that people were looking for something unique and different, but that they found it in a unique and different place that no one had looked before.
In marketing we call this phenomenon “perceived value”. This means that we submit more value to that which receives more attention. (video – Joshua Bell on his $3.5 million stradivarius). We can’t help it. We’re human! And as such, we can only consciously process a fraction of the information that floods our busy minds (video – selective attention).

I a world of fragmentation, the more places we look, the more overall results we’ll have. And if we filter through ALL those results – either through voting or “Likes” – and share our preference with all our friends it has the ability to act as a tipping point for viral success. If you can get 3 million hits, you can well assume that the equivalent of 1% of the American population has seen or heard about it. A week later it sells for .99 cents on iTunes.

Fashion may begin to work similarly. Anyone and everyone should be able to design their own outfits and feature them. Of course, unlike music video (which is solely an audio-visual experience), fashion has many subtle features – such as texture, material, comfort and fit. Yet for the most part these can be adjusted. Creativity and originality reside by and large in the field of visual appeal. Manufacturers could then line up to produce the highest rated outfits – just as record labels line up for final contestants of American Idol).

Which suggestions do YOU like best? What are YOUR ideas?

What is a Spade Question?

12/29/2010

One of the techniques of brainstorming – of gathering a pool of possible ideas for any given issue or project – is to lead with a “spade question”. This opens the floor to an array of ideas and possibilities albeit in a focused and concentrated area.

So what is a Spade Question?

The problem with most brainstorming sessions is that people get side-tracked. They begin discussing one subject but quickly find themselves going down a whole different path. It’s not that anyone is right or left, but that the focus in the beginning wasn’t narrow enough. The best answers often evolve from the best question.

The spade represents both a conclusion and something at a distance far away.

This is what we try to focus on during the brainstorm; to produce a question that naturally narrows not our perspective but our focus. This enables us to pin-point a particular issue and address it head-on. We then broaden our creative minds to expand on all the possibilities within this range.

The best spade questions are those which address the who, what, when and where we wish to get answered.

Example:

Instead of asking:

“How to become a morning person?”

I might ask:

“How could I better arrange my day so that I get a great night’s rest and wake-up early and energized in the mornings?”


Creativity: The Organization of Randomness (plus a prize!)

03/05/2010

Imagination is greater than Knowledge Albert Einstein

Creativity is a funny thing. It isn’t thinking, yet its highly intuitive. And it isn’t always rational, yet it solves the toughest problems. When we think of someone as “brilliant,” we rarely refer to IQ points (after 120 it really doesn’t seem to matter).  We are referring to someone who toys with ideas, plays with their assumptions, and can see beyond the obvious.

While it is possible to induce the “creative flow” (as done in brainstorming sessions), there are moments when the most wild and random thoughts just come to you. This often happens when the mind is in a total state of relaxation.

This explains why many great ideas come to us in the shower, or at a time when we are away from our work. Many a genius has been known to have their greatest ideas while on vacation.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up Pablo Picasso

Regardless of how the “messages” come, the key to successful conserving your ideas is to immediately jot down your notes on paper, however random and muddled they may seem, (so long as they are legible).

Later on, you can sort it all out, “think” them over and organize them appropriately.

After The Storm

The best way is to sort these ideas into categories:

a) The Bank: These are the hot ideas. The ones that get you excited and are able to be out into action immediately.

b) The Library: These ideas require further research. They are long-range thoughts that may be applicable, but just not at the present time.

c) The Museum: No idea should ever be thrown away. Even seemingly random, irrelevant thoughts are good to archive in order to look over when you’re in need of inducing the creative flow.

Of course, the master brainstormer will be constantly reviewing and reorganizing his or her notes to seek a new edge, a new point of view, so that everything is in order when the next innovative wave arrives!

Big ideas… are little ideas that no one killed too soon Seth Godin

The Prize!

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