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Concept Combining

(An excerpt from the e-book/course How To Have New Ideas.)

In this first lesson, we are going to jump right in with one of the best techniques for creating new ideas: creative combination of existing concepts. Just start combining ideas and things, and voila, you're having fun - and maybe creating something new. Let's get to the examples.

"Tattoo" plus "advertising" might lead to the first large tattoo placement advertising campaign. Want a monthly stipend for having a Coke logo on your forehead? For a ton of new business ideas, just combine the concept of "home delivery" with almost anything. Parties, tax preparers, rental swimming pools? Would people pay to have these things delivered?

As with any idea-generating technique, you need to be careful not to stifle your creativity. Allow ideas to come without judging them. Critical analysis is for later. Also remember that these techniques are tools, not rules. If your mind goes off on a creative tangent - just let it.

Randomly combining things is a great mental exercise when you're driving or daydreaming. A boat and a bicycle becomes a water-ski-bike that glides across the water using pedal-power. Combining stock-trading and McDonalds has you imagining the selling of stocks and bonds at drive through windows.

For more specific areas of interest, look for things to combine with what you already have. If your taxi business is struggling, combining "taxi" and "pets" might lead to a successful arrangement with a kennel, to pick up and deliver their client's cats and dogs. "Famous people," might give you the idea to run some sort of tour of the town, like they do in Hollywood.

For maximum creativity in your innovation, look far and wide for concepts to combine. "Meditation" and "amusement parks" seem too unrelated to yield interesting combinations, but I'll bet people at a carnival would pay to be put into a meditative trance using the latest brain wave entrainment technologies.

Limitless New Creative Concepts

This technique is great for new product ideas, inventions and business ideas, but it isn't limited to those areas. In fact, some of the most creative new ideas come from combining concepts from radically different areas. Need examples?

Church/Shopping Mall. Hmm... Four churches within one building. Christians, Muslims, Jews and Buddhists all sharing common space after there respective services and ceremonies. It might encourage tolerance, and even be inviting to those who want to "test" the various faiths.

Jail/Mountains. Maybe use prison labor to maintain the trails in National Parks?

Swimming/Alarm. Alarms for swimming pools? It sounds if a child falls in, and is otherwise easily turned off for regular use.

Poetry/Economics. Hmm...

Okay, I stared at the screen for five minutes, and nothing came to mind. That will happen, and when it does, you can just skip it. However, if you persist in looking for a new idea in the combining of two concepts, you'll find one. That is how this process works.

Your subconscious mind is powerful. Put two concepts together, assume there is a connection that will lead to a new idea, and your subconscious will find new creative concepts. Your assignment for today, if you want to test this, is to...

Continued in the e-book/course How To Have New Ideas.

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Concept Combining