The Art of Innovation – Part 3: Tips on Brainstorming

In The Art of Innovation, IDEO’s founder Tom Kelley writes his lessons in creativity from years of success through innovation. In this three-part series, I will take you through key takeaways from the book. This third part contains IDEO’s tips on brainstorming to enhance creativity.

7 Tips to Enhance Creativity

  • Act, sketch and mould physically, let the space of the room indicate the development of ideas (fill with paper)
  • Build and jump, let ideas flow then switch viewpoints or move laterally to keep the ideas coming
  • Defer judgement and criticism
  • Number ideas and go for quantity (100 ideas per hour)
  • Perform content related preparation and bring props for inspiration
  • Sharpen the focus outward, start with a well-defined customer need not on an organizational goal
  • Warm up by clearing the mind with a fast paced word game

5 Dangerous Habits

  • Asking experts in the target field gives depth not breadth
  • Bosses speaking first sets boundaries on communication
  • Disallowing silly ideas restricts wild, potentially successful, ideas
  • Forcing turns prevents ideas flowing naturally
  • Recording everything breaks the flow of the brainstorm, assign a scribe and keep the energy

The Art of Innovation – Part 2: Company Mindset

In The Art of Innovation, IDEO’s founder Tom Kelley writes his lessons in creativity from years of success through innovation. In this three-part series, I will take you through key takeaways from the book. This second part is about how IDEO helps companies to adapt their mindset to become more innovative. Step 1 – Know the Future Innovation happens by looking at what isn’t there —Jake Burton Know the soon to be state of the art. [Read More]

The Art of Innovation – Part 1: Building Experiences

In The Art of Innovation, IDEO’s founder Tom Kelley writes his lessons in creativity from years of success through innovation. In this three part series, I will take you through key takeaways from the book. This first part is about how IDEO builds product experiences. IDEO uses a Five Step Method. First Understand the market, client and technology. Then Observe for gaps in the market and difficulties that customers face. [Read More]

Improving ReadyRoll performance, one line at a time (Redgate)

Originally posted on the Redgate Blog In our latest release, we sped up ReadyRoll’s performance more than x10 on large databases in two key areas of the product: script generation and project packaging. If you are new to a codebase and haven’t done any performance work on the application before, it is a good idea to get a big, bad test case and observe the application running. Look for points where you wait for over a second. [Read More]

How to easily track your bodyweight

When you add your workouts on Strength Level, we ask you for your latest lifts and what bodyweight you were at the time. This allows us to accurately estimate how strong you are compared to other lifters at your bodyweight. The purpose is to see whether you are getting stronger and to adapt your routine to continue strength gains. One of the reasons this approach is better than tracking your lifts and bodyweight separately is that there is less to think about. [Read More]

Where does the time go? Charting your daily routine

A question a lot of us mull over is “Where does the time go?” in our daily lives. I wanted to explore if there was an easy way to understand and improve our daily routines. What’s the simplest visualisation? The answer I thought of was a clock. I marked points around the clock with the start and end points of each daily activity. At this point the clock began to resemble a pie chart. [Read More]

Rating strength better, the early years of Strength Level

Strength Level began with a post back in 2007. Back then I was breaking my own lifting records weekly and training over 5 times a week in the gym. I noticed back then I was not always just increasing muscle mass. If I ate a lot I would also put on fat. I wanted a way of detecting this so that you would realise that more strength is not always a good thing if you are becoming less athletic overall. [Read More]

The 2 Biggest Project Failures from Dreaming in Code

Dreaming in Code by Scott Rosenberg documents the failure of the Chandler software project. Chandler aimed to provide flexible information management. It organised emails and other data sources into a central object store. Intelligent features similar to Lotus Agenda’s “automatic assignment” aimed to predict semantic meaning from text, like automatically recognising events to add to your calendar. Failure 1: Not knowing what you are building The hard thing about building software is deciding what to say, not saying it —Brooks [Read More]