I was thinking this morning while walking the dog, very novel I know. Anyway, like I said I was thinking about ideas and how one idea can actually be worth far more than, well…one idea. Not necessarily just in monetary terms, but in terms of creative output.

Start noticing interesting things

Once you start noticing interesting things or spotting problems, they’ll give you ideas. You’ll find you can use these ideas in multiple ways. A sort of idea recycling. But now I’ll stop waffling and give you an example.


After I went shopping in Leicester City Centre I noticed I had walked 6 miles. That’s 6 miles just for shopping. Far more than the average person walks in a day. I thought, “I bet you could make a fun app from that”. Imagine if you created mileage routes around shops or shopping malls. Shops might be willing to pay sponsorship and offer vouchers and incentives for customers. I pitched this idea at a start-up weekend, but with a room full of mostly techy men no-one chose it (they did choose one of my others).

Spin-offs from the original idea

So that’s one idea from the shopping fitness theme. Then I also created a post-it note cartoon of a shopping workout. I could potentially create a whole cartoon book or series around the topic of shopping or shopping and fitness. I’m also thinking there might be some potential in creating some print on demand T-shirts around the theme.

shopping workout cartoon

More options

If I was an expert in nutrition or exercise (or partnered with one) I could potentially create a book or work-out around shopping. I am smiling just thinking about the ridiculousness of this (crazier things have happened). However, it could probably be turned round into a workable idea.

Recycling ideas

So from noticing one thing and having “one” idea you can potentially re-use, recycle and expand.

What have you noticed today?

Think about something you noticed today, something interesting or a problem you or someone else had. Take that theme and create a mind map around it. What sort of ideas would you like to have – product ideas, art ideas, writing ideas? Add them all to your mindmap and then write down ways you could connect your theme or problem to these areas. Don’t worry if the ideas are far-fetched or for something you wouldn’t want to do. Just go for a volume of ideas.

Use creative thinking techniques to expand on the ideas

Once you have exhausted your initial thoughts, you can either stop there or continue with another creative technique. For example, try using a random word to make new connections or freewriting about the topic.

Let me know how you get on