Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Generating 300+ Ideas in 2 Hours: Bay Area Brainstorm - May 4, 2014

In the first IdeaKube brainstorming party on the west coast, we focused on generating ideas for two contests:
  1. Marriott's Travel Brilliantly Competition to change the future of travel and designed TravelBrilliantly.com to give you, the consumer, a voice in this transformation process. Each entrant must submit a written description, up to 500 characters, of an idea to make the experience of traveling better. Fifteen First Prize winners who post their ideas on TravelBrilliantly.com with a curated Brilliant Travel gift package. 
  2. The Big C Competition is looking for big thinkers to create tangible innovations and solutions improving the daily lives of people facing cancer. The Big C competition is an opportunity to change the way the world fights cancer. The top award is $25,000.

Creative Juices and Snacks
The most unique snacks included:

  • A garam masala, cinnamon sugar popcorn that no one could get their hands off of!
  • A Tabasco popcorn that tasted just as it sounds
  • Asian snacks
  • Also, there was a bottle of wine from Georgia (the country that was part of the Soviet Union!) and one flavored red velvet chocolate (not enough red velvet or chocolate thought!)

Ice Breaker
The afternoon began as we introduced our Superhero selves to everyone. In addition to a Batman, Batwoman and Bruce Wayne, we had an Invisible Man, Wonder Woman, Superman, Spiderman, Gambit and Iron Man.

Then we had some new entrants to the world of superheroes including: Crystal Meth, Rollo Tomasi, Germ Fighter, X Ray Man, Centipede, and the Illuminator.

Challenge 1:
Using a toy as inspiration, generate ideas to improve the future of travel. The winning ideas included:
  • Service that donates excess hotel toiletries
  • Service that lets you explore untaken paths in your life
  • Service to help you "take your inner hipster global"
  • Service to allow you to have dinner with local families
  • One pill so you can sleep on a plane and not wake up until you reach
  • Dial a toilet that comes to you when you need it
Some of the other ideas that are worth mentioning:
  • Delivery of food from your favorite restaurants to airplanes
  • Subscription travel programs
  • Oculus Rift/staycation tourism
  • Empathetic travel
  • Legalized drug experiences
  • Packging to-do lists provided by hotels
  • Guaranteed daycare services
  • 3-D print your luggage and belongings when you reach the destination

Challenge 2:
Using a company that makes a unique product, generate ideas to help improve the life of a terminally ill patient. The ideas included:
  • Discolights and Superman immersion for patients to add some fun to the their day
  • Comforting puppy messages for patients
  • Smart watch that sends automatic updates to family members
  • Human slingshot fundraisers
  • Bidet with iPad attachment
  • Wearable technology for pain management
The oddball companies and products we used for inspiration were all from Skymall.com.  Examples include the Human Slingshot and the iPad Bidet.

As a reminder to everyone who attended, and those reading this, brainstorming requires a clear problem definition and many iterations of idea generation, filtering and tweaking! And as always, practicing the act of brainstorming can help solve problems faster and more effectively!

Hope you got inspired by the ideas we generated at the event, and some of you actually enter the competitions above!  (And for those who are interested, all of the idea generation sheets are below! Enjoy.

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