01: What Are Ideas?

Resources:

What Is Wind?

Definition of Idea by Merriam-Webster

Idea – Wikipedia

Steve Jobs’ Creativity Secret: connect the dots

The Secret to Creativity, Intelligence & Scientific Thinking


Quite often the simple things are the most difficult to explain. When my oldest daughter was two she asked me, “What’s wind?” That made me pause for more than a few seconds. I can explain the concept of air pressure, but she’s two. She doesn’t understand air pressure. It’s something we see almost daily, but never take the time to find words that help us comprehend it.

The word “idea” is much the same. We use the term frequently, but if someone asks you what an idea is, how would you explain it? After some research, I found the dictionary definition lacking.

A thought or suggestion as to a course of action.

I like that this indicates action when a thought arises, but there’s a stereotype that comes with “idea.” When someone says, “I need an idea” they are suggesting that the thought is something new or creative. It is something never before considered by the person, team, or world. Ultimately, an idea is an original thought.

And if you boil down the mechanics you start to see an idea as a connection of dots. It is the thought that comes from putting two existing thoughts together, which haven’t been combined previously. So an idea is a new connection of existing thoughts.

An idea is a new connection of dots.

But why would you want to connect dots? What purpose are you trying to meet by developing new ideas? What is your mission? That’s where we’ll go next.