Unleashing Creativity: A Technique for Producing Ideas

by Ian Rosenwach on 2.21.2011

Today I read a small, interesting book called a Technique for Producing Ideas.  It was recommended to me by one of my Columbia Professors.  The book was written in 1965 by James Webb Young, an Advertising man.  You get the sense this book was written during the “Mad Men” times.  Advertising was an art.  A creative endeavor.

Webb Young lays out two principles of idea creation before going into the Method.

Idea Principles:

  1. An idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements
  2. The capacity to bring old elements into new combinations depends largely on the ability to see relationships

The Method:

  1. Gather raw materials (knowledge)
  2. “Work over” these raw materials in your mind
  3. Incubating stage, do something unrelated to the idea but inspires (concert, movie, art, etc)
  4. Birth of the idea
  5. Shaping and development of the idea to practical usefulness

It’s a very short book at less than 50 pages, and the font is big which means its a fast and easy read!  The book is likely of interest to entrepreneurs, marketers, and creators of all types.  You can buy the book here.

Further viewing: Mad Men: The Carousel

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