Ideas Build on Ideas

How one idea leads to another.

What was the original inspiration for the modern computer? Some say it was the Chinese abacus, invented in 300 BC. Others say it was the “Difference Engine”, conceived by J.T. Muller in 1786. Still others point to the Zuse Z3 created by Konrad Zuse in WWII.

In reality, the modern computer is the direct result of several million years of human experimentation and contribution by untold millions of humans just like you and me. Sure, today’s computer is a beautiful and complex thing, but it’s made up of many parts, each of which can be considered a separate breakthrough, invention or precursor. The primitive wheel, lever, needle, awl, pulley, diode, vacuum tube and transistor all built on one another over countless centuries to eventually lead us to the powerful and elegant little laptop on your desk today. Continue reading

Break Away from Routine

Keep the rebel artist alive in you.

You were a kid once, full of hope, curiosity and creative rebellion. Your imagination knew no boundaries. You made up stories and pretended. You broke the rules here and there, and you colored outside the lines.

In those days you marveled at just about everything, and felt seduced—seduced to have fun, to take a dare, to wander and wonder, to question the way things have always been done, to yearn and to learn, and to seek new quests and half-crazy adventures.

What happened? It’s time to be there again. Continue reading

What the World Needs is More Kite Flyers and Bridge Builders

kite-flyerThe story has been passed on from generation to generation: It is said that in 1855, the great Niagara Suspension Bridge was built by flying a kite across the 855-foot chasm. From there, the workers on the other side started pulling on the kite string.

Attached to the kite string was a cord. Attached to the cord was a rope.  Attached to the rope was a wire. Attached to the wire was a cable—strong and sure.

Our world needs more kite flyers and bridge builders right now. If you have a big idea or social project in mind, have confidence that you can bridge the gap between the dream and the reality. Step one is to take step one. Just fly your kite to the other side and go from there.

Big positive changes are seldom accomplished all at once; it’s usually a matter of one small step leading to another. What are you waiting for? Go fly a kite!

An excerpt from the best-selling book, One (How many people does it take to make a difference?) by Dan Zadra and Kobi Yamada. To see the One book and video, go here:

What Isn’t Tried Won’t Work

Procrastination and second-guessing are the 
mortal enemies of spontaneous brilliance and action.

Do you hear that noise? It’s the sound of windows of opportunity slamming shut all around you. In today’s fast-paced and competitive world, ideas and opportunities won’t keep. You either do something with your best ideas—and fast—or someone else will.

Does this mean that we should rush our ideas to market, whether they are ready or not? No, but it does mean that speed to market is more important than waiting around for total perfection. To put it another way, a good idea delivered today may be way more valuable than a perfect idea delivered next year. Continue reading

Where do Ideas Come From?

Electrical ConnectionConception is a Matter of Connection.

 Question: How are most new ideas formed?

 Answer: A new idea is typically the result of associating one thing with another. In other words, “conception is a matter of connection.” If you connect one piece of information with a second piece of information, you get a third thing that is quite often a completely new and different animal or innovation.

It’s always been this way. In the 15th Century, Guttenberg connected the coin punch with the wine press to create one of humanity’s most important innovations—the printing press.

In the 20th Century, Fred Smith connected the airplane with the hub-and-spoke design of the old wagon wheel to create Federal Express’ ingenious “central hub-and-spoke” package delivery system.

The invention of the modern camera is a direct connection to the human eye. The design of the roll-on deodorant is a direct connection to the earlier ballpoint pen. The drive-in bank is a direct connection to the earlier drive-in movie. Connect Frisbee with Golf and you get—what?—Frisbee Golf.

And here’s the crazy part: The human brain—your brain—is comprised of 30 billion special cells called neurons. Each neuron is capable of making and storing one million connections. The combination is so huge that if you wrote it on paper it would stretch to the moon and back 17 times.

In other words, the number of creative connections you can make with your brain is virtually unlimited. That’s a beautiful and amazing power. Use it often and use it for good things.

An excerpt from the upcoming “Trust Your Crazy Ideas” book by Dan Zadra. To order your advance copy, click on the “RESERVE YOUR COPY” box on the right.

You Can if You Will

March 1 2016 Image

I nominate “can’t” as one of the nastiest four-letter words.

“Can’t” never created or solved anything.

“Can’t” has a way of placing an artificial ceiling on you and your company’s imagination, and it stops creativity dead in its tracks.

I’ve learned that in almost any situation we encounter, it is illogical, unreasonable and irrational to use the word “can’t.” In most cases, “can’t” really means “won’t.” The truth is, you can if you will. Continue reading

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

Man on way in steppe and Pamir mountains - KyrgyzstanI didn’t write that headline. J.R.R. Tolkein wrote it for Lord of the Rings. He was referring to a wandering chieftain named Aragorn. While exploring Middle Earth, Aragorn came across The Fellowship of the Ring in a tavern—a meeting that would eventually lead him to become one of the greatest men of his time.

“Not all those who wander are lost.” Above and beyond the Lord of the Rings, that line has become a treasured proverb for entrepreneurs, inventors, product developers and creatives everywhere. I have it taped to the bottom-left corner of my keyboard where it affirms my wandering ways every day. It reminds me that those who are curious and adventurous—those who are willing to get off the beaten track and explore the unknown or the unexpected—will be rewarded with discoveries. Continue reading

The Bliss of Going Offline

SAve Time ImageTurn off your email and cell for a couple hours each day—and watch what happens.

Time is your most valuable possession. Every day 86,400 seconds are deposited in your own personal time account. You can spend this time any way you want to—you can squander it or use it for good—but you can’t save it. Time can’t really be saved, it can only be spent. And how you spend your days is how you spend your life.

So, how will you spend today? Social scientists say that the average person can redeem 2-6 hours of pure creative time each day by simply eliminating their top time-wasters. Everyone has his/her own list of time-wasters, but three of the most heinous are:

  • constantly checking e-mails and Facebook
  • wandering the internet
  • spontaneous texting

Continue reading

Anyone can start something.

Finish LineWhat the world needs is more finishers.

There’s a big difference between creativity and innovation. Creativity is having an idea; innovation is doing something terrific with it.

Lots of people can come up with new ideas. What’s in short supply are innovative people—persistent mavericks who believe so strongly in an idea that they are willing to do whatever it takes to make the great idea a working reality.

Are you thinking about quitting on your idea? Anyone can quit. It takes no talent or creativity to give up on an idea, or turn your back on your quest. And the sad part is that so many quit just inches from their biggest breakthrough. Continue reading