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Sunday, August 31, 2003

Windows of Inspiration
Andersen seeks window into what inspires you
If you're anything like me, part of the creative process is staring at walls and out windows while things percolate and incubate in your brain. Although I sometimes stare "past" the obvious things outside the window and off into some creative corner of space, other times the view itself serves to inspire ideas and increase innovation.

The branch of a tree, shape of a cloud, the beat of rain against the window, or the detail from an occasional cobweb in the window frame (hey, I'm the Idea Guy, not the Cleaning Guy) can jar a piece of mental flotsam loose and start it floating down the stream of consciousness. Like a pebble in a pond, the impact of that small thought can cause ripples in my imagination beyond its original size.

Andersen Windows wants to know how the view from your window serves to inspire you. Visit their website (www.AndersenInHome.com) and enter your 200 word essay, along with a picture of the view from your window, and you might win their grand prize of a trip to the Sundance Film Festival, or a gift certificate to home depot. You have until October 31, 2003 to enter. Good luck!

Friday, August 29, 2003

Slogging through the Blog
More interesting stuff from the FC NOW blog
While checking on Seth's entry in the FastCompany blog regarding the release of the new GoogleDo eBook, I ran across another couple entries on the topic of creativity -- one on idea generation, and another on pitching ideas -- and thought I would share them with you.

Idea Generation II
Pitching Ideas

Enjoy the long weekend!

Friday, August 22, 2003

"...and starring DON as The Idea Guy..."
DTIG makes a guest appearance in Godin's new ebook!
That's right, Seth and Don together again for the first time!

Seth Godin, guru extraordinaire, recently posted a call for entries from his web log for ideas, insight, and innovations for what "Google should do next." Seth selected his personal favorites and collected them into a free eBook available on his site and through the FastCompany.com blog.

...Or you could just click to download it HERE.
Be sure to check out pg.68 for the entry by yours truly!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Make a impact with these cool and customized toys!
While doing research on unique promotional products for an Idea Guy client, I happened to uncover top-secret suppliers of completely customized items that anyone my age will fondly remember from their youth.

"Prediction Ball"
Although trademarks prevent calling it the toy we all KNOW it's based on (a round, black billiard ball with a number between 7 and 9 printed on it!) these are faithful reproductions available with your logo imprinted on the surface. For additional impact, you can order a larger quantity that include YOUR custom messages on the ball floating in the liquid window!

Imagine having every message telling prospective clients to call you or visit your website!! Or creating your own toy prediction ball -- I always thought something like this would be good for providing computer technical support. Messages like "reboot" -- "kick-it" -- or "take a computer class" could appear in the little window.

There are two different ball sizes, and you can get keychains as well as pens with prediction ball toppers!

"Rubik Cube"
Remember these puzzle cubes? Each side was a section of same-color squares that you had to mix-up and then get back in order. I remember some of my friends cheating and peeling off the color stickers, or disassembling the cube completely and putting it back together in the right order!

My source can create these same cubes -- bearing YOUR company logo in full-color!

What a great idea for problem-solving companies: send them a mixed-up cube and tell them to give you call. Your company rep shows up and BING-BAM-BOOM -- quickly solves the puzzle cube, almost as fast as your company can solve the prospect's problems! OR... Keep one on each table of a restaurant; if the customer can solve the puzzle before their order is served, they earn a free dessert! These are also available in keychain format.

"Custom ViewMaster Reels"
Probably one of my FAVORITE toys -- the ViewMaster. It looked like a set of binoculars, but you inserted a circular reel to display 7 pictures in 3D, along with text the viewer window that narrated the story. My favorite set of reels had pics of Batman and Robin for the old tv show starring Adam West and Burt Ward.

Now you can promote your business using these completely custom reels! Imagine using these stereoscopic images to promote your hotel, catering business, or luxury limo service. Sometimes it's not possible to bring a life-size demo to every meeting, but with these 3D viewers, you can almost reach out and touch the picture!

Minimums start at only 1,000 discs (great for tradeshow giveaways!) and they'll even loan you a 3D camera for FREE.

If you're interested in using any of the above items to promote your business or service -- please send me an email with your contact info and project idea. I'll get in touch as quickly as possible!
Send me an email!

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

The Govuhnator
Vote For Ahnold
My friend Jeff Bucchino (aka The Wizard of Draws) has created a hilarious parody t-shirt of the Terminator's bid for governor of CA.

He calls it "Terminator 4: Election Day" -- HA!

Be sure to visit his website and buy three or four shirts -- unlike the Terminator, you won't have the luxury of sending yourself back in time to buy one after they're gone.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Name Stats
How common is YOUR name?
Simple site to find out just how common (or uncommon) your name might be. A useful site for writers looking for character names, folks interested in their ancestry, or new parents searching for baby names.

You enter your name, hit the search button, and immediately view the stats on your name for a male, female, and surname usage. It even provides HTML code, easily allowign you to share the info with others via your website, email, or blog.

Here's the listing for "Don":

Don is the #135 most common male name.
0.145% of men in the US are named Don.
Around 177625 US men are named Don!

Idea Guy resulted in a "very rare" listing:

Idea Guy is a very rare last name.
Very few last names in the US are Idea Guy.
Be proud of your unique last name!

Check your own name!

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The Idea Department | PO Box 26392 | Columbus, OH 43226 | Phone/Fax (614) 340-7910