From prehistoric-day cavemen to current-day toddlers, people love to draw on walls and now there's a small robot that can transform any vertical surface into a canvas, and erase it in a matter of minutes. Using four erasable markers and installing with just two nails and a piece of wire, the lightweight Scribit can turn any wall into a work of art—your art- literally over and over again. The project was met with such excitement that it was 100 percent funded on Kickstarter in two hours and went on to raise $1.6 million in the next 30 days.
But like any BIG idea, it didn't come out of nowhere. In fact, Scribit represents the evolution of multiple ideas since 2001. Led by MIT Professor Carlo Ratti, the team at Scribit credits no less than six previous products that came before it and served as inspiration including a vertical plotter at Cornell University and a robotic bartender called Makr Shakr.
The 17-year evolution of Scribit demonstrates something discussed in Idea Magnets--that big ideas can be elusive.
One way to overcome this is to stop asking people for big ideas. Instead, asking big questions is the key. Rather than your team being stuck thinking that they need to be in precisely the right mental state to start thinking creatively, allow them the space to quickly discard any ideas that aren't ultimately productive. That willingness to throw away ideas can remove the attachment to ideas having to be "good" or meet certain criteria.
Here are a few additional questions that can start the idea-generating dialogue:
Tara Baukus Mello is the Creative Strategist for Idea Magnets, the brand. She served as the consulting editor for the book Idea Magnets.
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Photo courtesy Scribit.