I started an idea generation experiment a couple of weeks ago. It began by giving my partner £5 to spend on 5 random “quality” items in Poundland. I didn’t influence his choice, apart from telling him he couldn’t just buy sweets 🙂 .

The five items he chose were a:

  1. tablet stand
  2. travel mug
  3. garden fork
  4. gooseberry bush
  5. toy dart gun

What would the offspring of two of the items look like

Imagine that two of the items fell in love 🙂 and were going to have a child. Imagine what the offspring might look like. I chose the travel mug and garden fork.

idea love

Create two lists of their attributes

List out what both the items are made of and what they are used for.

Travel mug

  • drink
  • lid
  • red
  • curvy
  • red
  • hole at the top
  • cylindrical
  • insulating
  • double walled
  • travel
  • on-the-move
  • storage
  • container

Garden fork

  • 3 prongs
  • metal
  • patterned metal
  • wood (handle)
  • leather hanger
  • dig
  • garden
  • weeding
  • plant
  • turnover soil

Combine the attributes

combine attributes to get idea generation

Then start combining and item of each list. You can either combine the item as a whole or use one of its parts. Don’t worry if the ideas are silly (mine are) or have been done before. Judging the ideas would come at a later stage. This is about letting your imagination loose.

Here are a few examples

travel mug > patterned metal
A trendy travel mug made of patterned metal

drink > three prongs
A mini drinks table which had prongs for uneven gardens

travel > garden
A mini garden for the caravan or a plant pot on wheels or ball bearings that you can move into the sun or it moves itself.

travel > plant
A suction dashboard plant for the car. Or maybe a living car air freshener plant or air purifier.

travel > plant
A living globe, a sphere covered with blue plants for the ocean and green the land.

on-the-go > garden
A wearable garden. A hat with growing plants

on-the-go > seed
A valentines card with the word love made out of seeds. You water it and the love will grow – groan

insulating > handle
A glove built into a garden fork to keep your hands clean

travel > garden
A gardenening kit in a suitcase

lid > 3 prongs
A garden fork with a lid that makes it into a trowel

See how many ideas you get

See what sort of ideas you get. Once you have finished brainstorming, you can then start evaluating if any of the ideas are worth researching.

Need help – Book a free brainstorming first aid session