I’d been following the work of James Altucher for nearly a year, and had been practicing the “10 ideas a day” routine on and off, and was in the middle of a 28-day streak. I got out my trusty 3×4 pad and started kicking around thoughts for the day’s ideas and finally decided to take the plunge and have idea sex. “Idea Sex” is James’ way to describe the cross-pollination of two or more ideas from your daily idea list in order to create new and unexpected (and potentially brilliant and life-changing) ideas. My thought was this: What if you could have group idea sex? That is, combining 2-3 lists of 3-10 ideas, and then taking the next step of brainstorming 3-10 ideas on each of the 9-100 themes? That would result in up to 1000 IDEAS!!! (That is, if your hands could take it and you had enough time.) Here’s the process:
- Choose 3-10 adjectives. Simple adjectives are fine (“hot”, “cold”, “extreme”, “surprising”, etc.).
- Choose 3-10 activities. These could be business functions (i.e. “shipping”, “accounting”, “consulting”) or styles of music (“jazz”, “zydeco”, “Gregorian chant”), or whatever kind of activity/verb you feel like using.
- Combine each adjective with each activity, resulting in 9-100 themes. You’ll end up with some winners (“hot accounting” – sounds fun!) and some duds (“surprising shipping” – I don’t think I want to experience that) but regardless, you’ll get some serious volume.
- Brainstorm at 10 ideas on at least one of the themes. Take “hot accounting” for example, and ask a few basic questions about it. What would that look like? Sound like? Feel like? That should get you going.(To me, the phrase “hot accounting” immediately brings up a vision of people dressed in thongs, lingerie, and other wild and crazy getups, all reconciling bank statements, doing tax filings, and preparing P&L statements. HILARIOUS!)
Now go have some great idea sex! I can guarantee you’ll be surprised. Thanks to James Altucher. Read his blog at http://www.jamesaltucher.com/. For more on James’ daily practice – look at this post on James’ blog.