It’s #FreeIdeaFriday

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#MusicMonday, #TransformationTuesday, #WellnessWednesday, #ThrowBackThursday #FollowFridays…

Social media users love their #hashtagdays, don’t they. For some, it offers a chance to focus their attention in an online world that, at times, must seem like one huge dump of ideas and information. For others, it’s a chance to build community around personal priorities and goals.

Well, I would like to propose yet another #hashtagday for those involved in thinking about Imagination and Creativity. It’s #FreeIdeaFriday.

My thinking was inspired by my journey through Pagan Kennedy’s new book, Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change The World. Early on in the book, Kennedy talks about “user-inventors”—the acknowledgement that not all innovation is created in isolated labs by professional inventors huddled over a “drawing board”. A good number of new ideas come from people who actually use stuff and, through that use, tinker with additions, revisions and tweeks that end up improving or changing a product.

I remember my first experience with being a user-inventor back in the mid ’70’s. In grade 10, we were challenged to improve a household item that was part of our lifestyle. Easy!

Growing up in a family of 5 kids and three bathrooms, I was constantly looking for the toothpaste. On any given morning the family-size tube could be anywhere in the house—literally anywhere. So, it didn’t take long for me to get this assignment done. I imagined a toothbrush that had a built-in compartment for a small tube of toothpaste. When a button on top of the device was pressed, a small amount of toothpaste would be pushed on to the bristles!

Now, never actually built a prototype for the product, but it was fun to have the idea and think about how much easier my life would be if someone actually invented it! As it turns out, at least one other person has had the idea.

I’m thinking that a lot of us think up stuff everyday and, for any number of reasons, never really share them, let alone bring them into production. We may feel that we don’t have the qualifications to invent. We may believe that our ideas are not that unique. We may lack the desire to involved with the messy world of copyright, intellectual property and patents. As I say, there may be any number of reasons (or combination of reasons) that prevent us from valuing those ideas that pop into our heads on a regular basis.

So, I’m proposing that you use the #FreeIdeaFriday to present some of those ideas to the world. Sure, you run the risk of someone running away with your idea and making something of it. And you also run the risk of someone else making money from your idea. But, on the flip side, you run the risk that your wonderful ideas may never see the light of day.

So, go out on a limb. Take a risk. Share an idea with the rest of the world. And let’s see what happens.

It’s Friday! Why not share an idea—free—no charge!

Note: I’m going to share an idea under a separate post today—I promise! 

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