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Idea Generation

Page created: 2022-11-07 , updated: 2023-04-28

This podcast interview of Jeremy Utley ( has some pretty awesome distillation:

"…​what Luchins demonstrated and what researchers at Oxford have subsequently demonstrated is that human beings, when they think of a solution to a problem, one, they stop thinking of other solutions, and two, they’re incapable of seeing better solutions."

The emphasis should shift from getting the right answer, to getting as many answers as possible:

"You’re saying: 'Instead of looking for the right answer, I’m trying to generate as many possible answers as I can.' And we codify that in the book in a practice that we call the 'Daily Idea Quota' where we say every day articulate one problem for which you’re trying to find the right answer, and just shift your mindset and say: 'I’m going to come up with 10.' And 10 is somewhat arbitrary in the sense that it could be 100 or it could be 20, but it’s…​more than one."

"The world doesn’t end if I write down a dopey idea"

"Be thoughtful about inputs. …​ Whenever we think about creativity and innovation, everybody is consumed with output…​"

I really like the idea of the "wonder wander":

"So you take a problem in mind or take a problem in hand, and you walk a city block. …​ And as you walk the city block, you look and you see an Adidas store, and you say: 'How would Adidas deal with this?' You see a UPS truck drive by. How would UPS do this? You see a children’s playground. What does a playground have…​ You almost impute or project a sense of divine inspiration on everything you see. And what are you doing there? You’re entertaining new connections. So fundamentally, what is an idea? An idea is a connection. That’s it."

Related: Back to creativity or a creative-habit.