Idea Collisions

Idea Collisions

Innovation Skills
30 minutes

Many creative thinkers get their results by connecting existing concepts together to create something original. Here we try this systematically with ideas generated so far. How can the aspects of one idea merge with or be added to the aspects of another idea?


This technique always generates unique ideas, partly due to its random nature, and partly due to the necessary act of "colliding" several existing ideas together - something participants wouldn't normally do. The result is something new and original.
In Detail
“Creativity is just connecting things.” - Steve Jobs

Take two or three ideas that you’ve come up with for a project. See if you can join them together. How could the aspects of one idea merge with or be added to the aspects of another idea? Try and force ideas that don’t look like they should go together. Put ideas together at random.

Here’s an interesting way to illustrate this idea. Below is a duck-billed platypus. It’s an unlikely mix of duck, beaver, and otter. It has a duck’s bill and webbed feet, a beaver’s tail, and an otter’s body and fur.

The Duck-Billed Platypus

But these features work perfectly together. Duck-billed platypuses hunt underwater, where they swim gracefully by paddling with their front webbed feet and steering with their beaver-like tail. They use their bill to scoop up insects, shellfish, and worms.

The point, as with so many of the techniques we use, is to try things which might bring unexpected, unusual results. Results that come together to make something unique and original.

So be playful with this – see how hard you can try to get ideas to bolt on to each other. You might find you get some more original ideas as a result.


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