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Five New Ideas to Implement

Coming up with new and interesting ideas is easy if you know the right techniques. The following are five I came up with while watching the snow fall outside the window. Those are followed by a few suggestions for creating ideas on your own.

1. Power naps reduce stress and increase productivity. But if you work in a busy office or busy city how do you find a quiet place to take one, and how do you fall asleep quickly? A storefront operation with something like tanning booths may be the answer. Using brainwave entrainment CDs, sleep would come easily and quickly.

2. Can mosquito blood be used to solve a crime? The idea may be more suited to fiction than real police work, but it is logical. A suspect says he wasn't in an area and police need to prove he was, so they could test the blood collected by mosquitoes, looking for the suspect's DNA. Mosquitoes don't travel far, so to find his DNA in this way would be fairly conclusive.

3. A new answering machine. They have our own messages, prerecorded messages, and funny messages. How about an answering machine with different messages depending on who is calling? Have the machine connected to the caller ID. If no data is available a generic message plays, but if it's one of the numbers you programmed to hear a certain message, the caller gets a personalized response. "Hi mom, I'm not here right now..."

4. Multiple plot novels. Use the internet to publish a novel that is really a dozen or more stories in one. The reader chooses which way the story goes, and clicks through to the pages that complete his or her version of the story. The idea has been proposed for books before, but with paper books it becomes too cumbersome.

5. Many withdrawn children permanently change their behavior and join in activities with others, after watching a video of similarly withdrawn children joining the group. Why not apply that idea to a series of motivational videos? Make "story videos" in which someone like the viewer learns to do whatever they want to do (learn to dance, speak in front of a crowd, or whatever). Use many types of people for each, so the viewer can choose one with a character most like himself, to make it more realistic and motivating.

With a few good techniques you can come up with a hundred new ideas in an evening of brainstorming. Some of the better ones are the simplest as well. The new answering machine idea, for example, involved nothing more than looking at my answering machine and asking what could be changed.

Another simple technique is to find a new application for an existing idea. This is how I arrived at the idea for the motivational videos. Of course there are dozens of these techniques. But some of the ideas above may be put into use by others by the time you read this, which points up another important fact about ideas: It's easier to have them than to do something with them.


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