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Win a Grant to Pursue Your Creative or Start-Up Idea

Wework Creator Awards is looking for entrepreneurs, artists, start-ups and non-profits to pitch their ideas for a chance to win grants to fund their idea. Initially, you just have to submit a video entry under 90 seconds about your idea. Finalist will then pitch their ideas at international events as listed below.

From the website

WeWork is committing more than $20 million to innovative projects and the people behind them. This global competition is open to entrepreneurs, artists, startups, and nonprofits—anyone who embodies our mantra, “Create Your Life’s Work.”

The following international events are available for entries:

Wework idea grant pitch locations


Event Date: September 14, 2017
Applications Deadline: August 24, 2017


Event Date: September 26, 2017
Applications Deadline: September 12, 2017

Mexico City

Event Date: October 19, 2017
Applications Deadline: October 2, 2017

Tel Aviv

Event Date: October 26, 2017
Applications Deadline: October 15, 2017

New York City

Event Date: TBD
Applications Deadline: TBD

The Austin event has already taken place but international events are listed above

Wework idea categories

Get Your Product / Invention Shown on TV

photo tv invention

Pitch your product to a captive audience

Studio Lambert are currently working on a brand new series for a major UK broadcaster, called Buy It Now (working title), which offers an opportunity to entrepreneurs, inventors and licence holders who have a product to sell to pitch their product to a captive audience of potential customers and a panel of professional buyers from some of Britain’s best known retailers, with the hope of securing orders.

Each seller will have 90 seconds to convince the studio audience to buy their product. If they are successful in selling to at least one member of the audience, they will then have the opportunity to speak to the panel of retailers – who may choose to make a big order.

During the pilot episode filmed in January, one entrepreneur received provisional orders worth nearly £150,000 (retail value), whilst another inventor had a provisional order for 10,000 units.

Find out more

Anyone interested in having a chat to SL in more detail, can contact them at

or call on 0203 040 6837.

Anyone interested in applying, can do so

found via Judith Morgan – Own it The Podcast

Deciding on a Niche For A Product Idea Challenge

dog toy product ideas

Just over a week ago I mentioned I was going to have another go at coming up with product ideas and trying to get one licensed. I will be following the steps in Stephen Key’s Book One Simple Idea (The yellow version).

The first thing I did was write a big list of possible niches. Some I am a lot more interested in than others but I wrote down everything anyway. It’s weird because as you list one thing it leads to another and you start to think of things that bug you.

List of possible niches

  • Pet product – probably dog as I have one.
  • Kids toy or game
  • Candy ideas – possibility because I have tried this before and have a contact
  • Food/snack/food packaging – inc Food that just needs hot water – thinking about when we go to France with the dog and end up with salad and pot noodle in the room at the overnight hotel.
  • Guitar or Ukulele product – I have tried to learn guitar (very bad at it) and have just got a Ukulele.
  • Chargers adapter organiser – all the adapters around the house drive me nuts
  • Alcohol/drinks packaging – I pitched something in this market many years ago
  • Interesting watches or ways of telling time – one of my early jobs was designing plastic style watches
  • Fun fitness for kids – No idea why this popped in my head as I haven’t got kids, but I know kids and exercise is an issue.
  • Art or stationery ideas
  • Gardening ideas – I hate gardening, but I know it’s popular. Gardening for the person who hates gardening?
  • Golf gadgets – my partner plays and buys loads
  • Cleaning gadgets – cleaning the shower cubicle annoys me
  • DIY product
  • Sewing product – I used to make toys as a kid, don’t like it now.
  • Try new things/sports app
  • Fitness product ideas
  • Movie night product
  • Teeth stuff seems big, teeth product
  • Storage solutions (golf kit storage)

I have also been for a walk round one of those shops that have a bit of everything to get inspiration. I also went to a small grocery shop and a pet store to kick start my brain.

From my list, there are a few niches that most appeal to me. So I will work through them one at a time to see if I come up with anything. If not I’ll move on to the next. I’m also not going to discount something completely unrelated popping in my head while working on the project.

My initial niches are

  1. Pet product
  2. Food/snack/food packaging
  3. Art or stationery ideas
  4. Guitar or Ukulele Product
  5. Alcohol/drinks packaging

I will be concentrating on the pet niche (dog product) to start with.

Study the Marketplace

The first step in the One Simple Idea Book is to study the marketplace. I’ve already had a look around one pet shop but will look around another and some online shops and trend websites.










Episode 20. Ten Minute Creativity – Silence with Idea Prompt

10 minute creativity - memory

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10 minute creativity

Can you make just 10 minutes a day to be creative? To follow will be 10 minutes of silence for you to create. In case you’re not feeling inspired here’s an idea. Use the word “memory” as your inspiration and interpret it any way you like. You could draw, take a photo, write about it use it to inspire a business idea.

Feel free to share your creations on the Idea Medic Facebook Page or Group.


If Creativity Could Be Like Walking Your Dog…

…you wouldn’t need a 100-day project

walking the dog like creativity

Before I had a dog I would regularly decide that I need to get fitter by walking every day. So the first day I would go out and walk 20 minutes just around the village. The next day I would do the same. But then the following day it would be raining. I wouldn’t feel getting wet so I would leave it. The next day I would find another excuse or forget altogether. The problem was, that each day I had to re-decide that I was going for a walk.

Removing decisions

When I got a dog all that changed, no decisions required. I am going for a walk every day at least once, or twice (if my partner can’t do the second one) a day. This is regardless of weather or anything else. Occasionally when walking the dog I’m tired and can’t really be bothered or the weather sucks. But sometimes on those days, something will happen that changes how I feel. Perhaps I get an interesting idea for a project or my dog will do something that makes me laugh. So I go from a walk I didn’t want to take, to a walk I enjoy. It’s a bit like committing to doing something creative every day. Sometimes you’re not in the mood, but after you begin that changes. Really the only problem was that it was hard to start.

Treat creativity like a pet we love

Perhaps we can find ways to treat creativity like a pet that needs feeding and exercising. Because even though we think we want to do it, it’s easy to DECIDE not to. We need to somehow remove the need to make a decision, so it becomes automatic.

I have been following Crystal Moody’s blog for a while (she has just agreed to be on my podcast), on reading her “about page” she says –

“In 2014 I made a drawing each day and took a photograph of it, usually with my breakfast. In 2015, I began painting each day. Now I have no trouble doing something creative every day.”

It seems like we have to break through a set period of time in order for our creativity to become a habit and no longer a daily decision. You often read that it takes 30 days to build a habit, but I am not entirely convinced that it’s long enough. I am guessing this varies from person to person.

The end of my 100-day project

Today is the final day of my 100-day project to create content for this blog. I can definitely see the benefit of that continuity. Although in fact, it wasn’t completely continuous because I went away for just over 2 weeks. What the project did was stop me questioning whether to blog each day. I felt like the decision was already made for me, a bit like walking the dog. So now I am debating whether to continue creating content every day. Did you see the word “debating” that means it is still a decision I have to make, it’s not yet embedded. Even if I don’t continue to blog every day, I want to create content regularly.

How to you embed regular creativity?

Please share your thoughts.

Try something new for 30 days TED Talk Matt Cutts

I came across Matt Cutt’s story while listening to the TED Radio hour. I already am a big fan of setting yourself little (or big) creative challenges, which is similar to what Mat Cutts does. He continually sets himself 30 day challenges. These are either to do something he really wants to do or to try and remove something from his life. Things he has done include writing a novel in a month, recording a second of video everyday and cutting out social media.

Have a watch it’s only 3.5 minutes long

Ep 19 Scott Ginsberg The Prolifically Creative Nametag Guy

Scott Ginsberg

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In this episode, my guest is Scott Ginsberg, a world record holder for wearing a nametag 24/7! He is also a prolific writer, musician, filmmaker, software developer and all-round approachable guy. Originally from St. Louis, Scott now lives in New York with his wife. In this episode, Scott shares all about his interesting creative projects, and his very unusual method of idea curation.

What you will learn about in this episode

• Why Scott wears a nametag 24/7
• Where he finds and generates ideas
• Scott’s various creative projects
• How Scott decides what to work on
• The unusual system he uses to keep track of ideas
• Scott’s favourite creative tools and resources

Why Scott wears a nametag 24/7

It started as a goofy, fun thing to do one night in college, but the real answer is that Scott was lonely and disconnected and needed a way to make new friends. By wearing the nametag, immediately people were super friendly, saying hello, starting conversations. Something in the little sticker changed the dynamic and communication, which was fun and different, exciting and unexpected. And for the first time, Scott felt seen on a deeper level as a person. Because it was so powerful, he made a vow with himself to keep it on indefinitely, and has been wearing it ever since. That was 17 years ago!

As a writer, Scott knew he was going to write a book about it, and he began documenting it as a social experiment. It was fun, and it only accidentally became the thing he built his business around. When the book came out, it was a short run of books that he kept in his apartment. He met a guy on a bus—because of the nametag—who passed along Scott’s information to a friend who was an editor at a paper. The local paper ran the story the day the book came out, and it went viral before viral was viral. Scott ended up on USA Today and CNN, and ‘rode that wave’ for as long as he could. At the time he was selling furniture, but eventually he began working part time at the Ritz Carlton at night, writing during the day. Then he worked full time for himself for about 12 years, but also worked at a couple of different marketing agencies and with startups. These days, Scott thinks of himself as a dual citizen. He works full time at a startup, and that allows him to be his own patron for the art projects he wants to make.

Where Scott finds and generates ideas

Scott says he finds ideas everywhere. Reading is one of the big ways he gets inspiration, but he “inhales” everything. Whether it’s music, reading, listening to other people’s conversations or noticing the world, he sucks it all in, writes everything down and has a very organized content management system on his computers so his ideas are always available to him wherever he is in the world.

YouTube videos of Scott’s writing process,

It was fun, it was neat. ScreenFlow is one of many screen video capturing things and I figured out how to hack screen flow where I’d take a screen grab of me writing, sit down and start writing for 4 – 5 hours, and not even think about the fact that it was recording. Then go back and hack it by speeding it up like 1000% and then doing a screen flow of the screen flow, and then when it was done it was a 4 – 5 hour block of writing condensed down to 5 minutes. You could really see my brain in 3D form on a screen and it was so interesting. You see a lot of patterns in the way personally I approach the creative process. Did 6 or 7 as a fun experiment. That way, if somebody said ‘what do you do all day?’ you can watch this video.

The brain is a bad neighborhood

Scott thinks on paper and believes a lot of people spend too much time thinking inside their head and that that’s really dangerous. His yoga teacher has a saying that the brain is a bad neighborhood and you should stay out of it. Scott says, “thinking is really great, but think with your fingers, think on paper, think on the dry erase board, think on sticky notes.” He advises that you don’t just sit there and mull stuff over because ideas should not stay in your head. The whole point of the David Allen Getting Things Done system, which Scott applies a lot, is that everything needs to get out of your head. Get it down on paper, get it in a system, get it in Evernote or whatever you use, but don’t leave it up there.

The joy of creating

For Scott, the joy and value and meaning came from coming up with the idea of creating it and now sharing it with the world. Once his work is out in the world, his job is done and whether or not anyone likes it or whether or not people see it, that’s pedestrian to him. He only cares that he made it and that he’s proud of it.

Scott’s current projects: an animated folk rock opera

Scott’s latest film is an animated folk-rock operacalled Head Up Heart Higher, composed and written by him and animated by Devika Joglekar. It’s a 46 minute cartoon, the music is folk rock and the opera part is actually something inspired by R Kelly’s Rap Opera Trapped in the Closet. Scott took 11 songs that he’d written from October 2015 to April 2016, which was a very challenging period in his career, and the songs told the story. So he wrote a screen play, found an animator and told the story through a cartoon. It’s on YouTube, you can find it here

Other projects

The film making thing started a few years ago. The first movie Scott made was a concert documentary called The Tunnel of Love. He then did another film a couple of years ago and now has done the animated one. The animation is beautiful. He likes to experiment with stuff to earn the right to call himself something new. Having made 3 feature length films now he can legitimately call himself a filmmaker, which is exciting.

Another example of doing something completely different is when Scott converted the intellectual property of some of the books he’d written into software programs. HE didn’t design the software or code it, but found a great developer and they built single serving software applications that Scott can personally use as he’s is making things. The first one was called Sentence Junkie which is a list of over 30,000 of Scott’s ideas. It’s essentially a search engine that facilitates his own creative process. He also created Question Junkie and Opportunity Junkie. All the software is public domain and Scott’s not worried about people using them. He says, “by the time people use it, I’ll already have another thousand thoughts, so go ahead.”

Another project Scott is working on is a new book about Hot yoga. He is part of a strong yoga community in Brooklyn, and has been practicing yoga for 10 years. It has become a transformative part of his life in general but is great for creativity too. The book is a daily devotional, like most of his books, but unlike his other 35 books this one is the first one with a major publisher. So that’s another new thing he’s never tried before, and the book is due out late 2017.

How Scott decides what to work on

Scott says he works on ‘everything’. He says it’s ok to do lots of things, and not pick just one lane or be one thing. Currently he has 8 projects, some of which are much more time consuming than others. He works for a startup called Air Help, which is an air passenger rights company. That’s the most time consuming project, but he’s also working on a couple of books, some new music, and the yoga studio where he is a member, volunteer and employee. He does all those projects, but not necessarily every day. Some are only once a week. What’s important to Scott is having an inventory of projects that are meaningful to him so that he can look at the list and say ‘what do I need to work on, what am I feeling now?’

Scott believes it’s existential insurance. When you’re having a freak out or bored or uninspired, it’s important to have lots of different projects available to you without any pressure. It reduces the opportunity for you to be disappointed and be derailed. Most of Scott’s projects don’t require scheduled time. He trusts that things come in when they do and he will work on them as they go.

The unusual system Scott uses to keep track of ideas

Scott has a process and a system that he uses to keep track of idea that is partly based on David Allen’s advice about capturing ideas. Every morning, Scott will go through his list of notes in his Kindle Notebook and transcribe it. He believes in reading, taking notes, transcribing and storing notes. He will read his notes, then rewrite them into documents, and each idea gets its own Word document on the computer. This helps with searching.

If he gets 13 great ideas from a book, one document includes all of them for that book. However, he also has each idea as its own document stored in a larger inventory of documents of everything he’s ever taken notes on for anything. They’re in the warehouse. Then, later he can search through the inventory, see notes from that book and either quote the author or use it as inspiration. They’re all backed up on Google Drive and through Scott’s software. Most of the word documents are one sentence and he will never ever open them. But, in the Finder file, when he searches for them, they’re easy to find and read.

Scott’s favourite creative tools and resources

He likes to use the InVision design app for building private inspiration boards.
Fiction authors he enjoys include James Patterson and Lee Child.
Non-fiction authors Scott recommends are Seth Godin and Eric Maisel. He also recommends Seth Godin’s courses.

Where to find Scott

Scott doesn’t use social media that much, but suggests you go to your favourite search engine and type in the word nametag! Otherwise, his website is or you can check out his YouTube channel or the
Sentence Junkie software

Does Alcohol Increase Creativity? The Experiment Begins

Tara Sandra alcohol creativity experiment

You have probably heard the theory that alcohol (and drugs) can increase creativity. In fact, a company even created a beer called The Problem Solver designed to “supposedly” provide the optimum alcohol level.

Purely in the name of research, artist Sandra Busby and I will be carrying out a series of experiments to test this theory. We have started the first experiments already. Each task will be carried out sober and then after consuming 4 units of alcohol.

The first creative tasks are:

  • To sketch a bottle in 30 minutes
  • To create a poem based on a random word in up to an hour
  • To create a character using everyday objects or images from magazines in 45 minutes (excluding image gathering time)

We will be talking about our results in a future podcast.



How to Have Ideas When You Don’t Even Notice your Knickers

noticing things to get ideas

Have you ever heard people say that to have ideas you just need to start noticing problems or interesting things happening around you? I always think that advice is about as useful as telling someone they need to exercise to get fit. There’s no structure built in. How do you suddenly start noticing things you didn’t before?

Let me tell you my story about not noticing, It’s about knickers if you have problems with underwear stories please do not read on.

My not noticing story

A few years ago as part of my Christmas present, my Mum bought me a pack of white M&S knickers with a black and white pattern on them. Nothing particularly unusual there (apart from maybe your mother buying you pants – sorry if you’re reading Mum). Anyway, I didn’t think a lot about it until a few months later when I wore them again and noticed that the pattern was of dogs. I AM 47 and I am wearing knickers with dogs on them! My first thought was OMG if I had had an accident I may have died as the paramedic would have been too busy laughing at my pants!

Kind of weird though, something that you wear every day and you don’t even notice it, but that is exactly what happens and why we potential miss spotting some great ideas right in front of us.

Train yourself to notice things

So what steps can we take to capture those everyday issues or even the fun stuff? This is where my corny named DaytectiveTM method can help. This method is essentially a questioning review of your day. It’s designed to recapture those moments that may have otherwise slipped by without a further thought. It’s also a good idea to keep a notebook/digital or analogue with you at all times.

Set an alarm

Start setting yourself an alarm each day. Do this once or twice a day when you have at least 30 minutes to spare. Work through the series of questions to try and recall as much of day as possible and extract any useful idea starters.

Ask yourself these Daytective questions

What did I do today (this morning/afternoon)? (create a list)

  • What did I notice about the things I did
  • What were the annoying bits and the problems and what were the interesting or fun things?
  • What ideas could this inspire (how could I overcome the problems or make something of the interesting things)?

Who have I spoken to today? (create a list)

  • What did I notice about them?
  • What did they say, what were their problems?
  • What ideas could that inspire?

What did I watch, read and listen to today? (create a list)

  • What did I notice about it?
  • What were the interesting elements, what were the problems?
  • What ideas could that inspire?

I’ve used this technique to come up with ideas for cartoons, blog posts, and app ideas. Even if you never intend developing some of the ideas it gets your idea muscle working and you start noticing things more.

Let me give you an example that I have shared before. I was once clothes shopping in Leicester. By the time I went home I noticed on my Fitbit that purely through shopping I had walked six miles. This could be an interesting way to get fit. It could be developed into an app, made into a cartoon, be the inspiration for a blog post or exercise program.

Give it a try and see how it goes.



What to Do When It’s Hard To Start

Why is it we put off creative things that we really want to do? Just making a start seems so hard or too much effort.

Set yourself a really small goal

One of the easiest ways to get started is to promise yourself to do something really small. For example, allocate yourself 5 or 10 minutes to do a quick sketch. The thing is, as soon as you start, you will probably find you don’t want to stop, weird that.

Once you’ve got into the flow of creating you’ve beaten the initial resistance. What you’re doing then becomes fun rather than something you “think” you want/ought to do.

Beat your initial resistance


I recently bought a Ukulele after hearing Bonnie Grotjahn talking about hers. I really want to learn how to play. But last night, I put some dinner in the oven, sat on the couch and to be honest couldn’t be arsed. I decided to have a quick go for 5 or 10 minutes. Next thing my oven buzzer is going and it’s half an hour later. By that point, I’m enjoying playing and I’m wishing my food had taken longer. By the way, just to clarify, I wasn’t playing Humpty Dumpty like the photo. I’ve moved on from there to Damian Rice – from Eggs to Rice (I should have had Chinese food).

So next time you “think” you want to draw, write or generate ideas, let yourself off easy and decide you will do it for just 5 or 10 minutes. I can almost guarantee you will decide to do more.

If you are not sure what to create, check out my 10-minute creativity (silent podcast) with a prompt or the Facebook Live below.

Posted by Ideamedic on Tuesday, 25 July 2017

PS Sorry about the sweetie shuffling, I should have pressed the mute button :).