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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Hold The Anchovies...
and Your Hard Drive.
Extra-Cheesy Camouflage For Your Computer
I saw this awhile back and it finally made it to the top of my blog-content-coverage-stack. Of course, today's post could just be a subconscious way to avoid the Turkey Day leftovers.

Power Pizza is a clever way to disguise the fact you have a laptop sitting on the front seat of your car.

It's a real pizza box customized to protect most laptops with 14"-15" screens. It's lined with protective foam and includes Velcro securing straps. There's also space to accomodate a mouse and power cord. Heck, there's even an optional weatherproof "carrier bag" to protect your "pizza" from the elements!

...of course, a hungry thief looking to score a bite to eat could end up getting more than he bargained for.

Although the Power Pizza is a real product -- the site also contains a lot of fictional products. It's very creative and a lot of fun to browse through these inventions that "ought to be." Cigarettes that allow smokers to collect "life points" to treat medical conditions brought on by smoking, a wireless teddy bear baby monitor, a "Wash Bomb" to win the war against dirt, and employee "business supplements" to stimulate your workforce.

Very funny. Very creative.


Monday, November 29, 2004

USBX-mas Tree
Ho-Ho-Holy Cow -- these are COOL!
We all know you spend more time in front of your computer than in the living room enjoying your holiday lights -- why not decorate your most used and viewed device in your home?

The new USB-powered Christmas Tree light from ThinkGeek adds a festive flair to your computer. It plug right into your computer's USB port, and can be mounted atop your computer.


No more computer Bah-Humbugs!

'Tis the season to be jolly, and these are a jolly-good idea -- there's even a snowman!


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Santa's Brand New Bag
Stocking Stuffers for Idea Guys & Gals
With the Thanksgiving holiday just a day away, I'm not certain if I'll get many chances to post before the biggest shopping day of the year -- I actually know people that plan their post-turkey-day shopping excursion like it's some military exercise -- so please consider adding these items to your holiday "hit list".

MetaMemes
My friend Kes has created an INCREDIBLY cool brainstorming board game called MetaMemes. It's part Cranium and part Trivial Pursuit. It needs to be experienced to be believed. A great idea-generating gift for we "idea types" to be sure, but it's still fun for simply getting together and playing with friends as a straightforward board game.

Get an overview of the game and see sample cards at the official website:
http://www.metamemes.com

PPO Cubes
If the MeteMemes game used dice, they'd have to be PPO Cubes.

While the name (in my humble opinion) lacks a bit in the creativity department, there's nothing lacking in this item's core concept of useability in the idea-generating department!

PPO stands for "Personal Pattern Overlay" each face of this 12-sided die has a colorful (albeit blank) dot. That's where the "Personal Overlay" part comes into play -- YOU get to decide what sort of creativity keywords are added to the dice.

Add words, pictures, logos, symbols, etc. to each side of the dice, concentrate on the project/problem/challenge for which you'd like to create ideas, and then let 'em fly! Use the stimuli chosen by the random roll to explore ideas on your topic. Since you chose the areas and concepts, the ideas and associations come quickly and easily. PPO Cubes are an excellent stocking stuffer.

http://www.ppocubes.com

Free the Genie Cards
I'm a fan of creativity cards decks, especially Roger von Oech's Whack Pack and Charlie Girsch's Creativity a la Card. Free the Genie is unique in that there's a free online version (yes, I know there's an online Whack Pack) but Free the Genie has several card game options/creativity readings from which to choose -- not just the "One Card Oracle" of the Whack Pack, but "Either / Or D'oeuvre", "Incubation Nation", and "What Suits You." Each game adds an edge and focus to the creative exercise.

Play it online, and then buy your own set of cards from Idea Champions (there is a TON of other innovation tools and toys available on their site!)
http://www.ideachampions.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Open the pod bay doors, Hal.
Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it.
Apparently Borders has found a distant cousin to HAL 9000 from "2001: A Space Odyssey".

Their new GiftMixer 3000 is almost as smarmy, and a lot less life-threatening.

Set the slider dials in each category (Romantic, Adventurous, Brainy, Imaginative, and Funny) to best describe the person for whom you are shopping. The GiftMixer will comment on each setting while searching the Borders database for a selection of appropriate gifts.

I'm not certain how spot-on the gift matching actually is, but the mixer itself is a lot of fun to play with!

Check it out...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Become An Idea Barista
Seven reasons why ideas are like coffee


1. Best When Hot
While you could technically get away with drinking an iced-coffee, ideas are best acted upon while still piping hot.

2. Brewing Affects Quality
Sure, you can always go with "instant", but all serious coffee drinkers know that water temperature and brew time affects the flavor of the coffee. Same goes for ideas -- allowing concepts time to brew will result in better quality ideas.

3. Room for Cream?
Black coffee can be made more flavorful when enhanced by shots of flavored syrup, cream, or sugar -- but while any idea can be made better by adding small shots of innovation, lame ideas will still leave a bad taste in your mouth no matter how many shots of 'syrup' you add.

4. The Best Beans are Imported
There are excellent coffee beans from almost every corner of the world -- same goes for ideas. Import concepts from other industries, products, and services -- then adapt them to your specific situation.

5. Free Refills
Just like that bottomless cup of coffee -- You'll never run out of ideas. There's always another concept to explore. And like drinking coffee, the second cup usually tastes better than the first.

6. Coffee is Ubiquitous
Seems no matter where you are, you're never more than a block away from a fresh cup of coffee. You grown accustomed to seeing the familiar green and white sign of that national coffee shop chain on every corner. Each McDonald's has a boiling cup of caffeinated lava ready to scorch your tongue. Expect the same with ideas -- there are creative concepts around every corner. Expect to see them, and they will become as visible to you as that Starbucks' sign!


7. Always Better When Shared with a Friend
It doesn't matter if you're sipping an espresso brewed from the finest beans in the world, or a sucking down a burnt and crusty pot of coffee from your local greasy spoon at at three in the morning -- the coffee always tastes better when consumed during a conversation with friends. All the best ideas are shared the same way -- good ideas (like good coffee) are always found in good company.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Voynich Manuscript
A 230 page Royal Scam
Here's another from the BrainBlog slush pile. I found this in the July issue of Scientific American.

With all the available titles disputing the "truth" written within The Da Vinci Code, I'm really fond of the idea of a 17th century English adventurer scamming Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II out of a stack of cash for a seemingly cryptic text containing alchemy secrets -- which hundreds of years later turns out to be 230 pages of gobbledy-gook.

Get the full story here.
Heh-heh-heh... There's a sucker born every millenia.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I'm Not Alone.
See? I'm NOT the only one.
I took a bit of razzing from some friends when I took issue with parts of the Kevin Roberts' interview on the Tom Peters website.


Seems I'm not the only one who is left unimpressed by some of the Lovemarks author's comments and "original" ideas.

In the wake of Tom Peters' (whose recommendations I ordinarily find right on target) elevation of Lovemarks to "Biz Book of the Half-Decade", I felt a bit vindicated to find a critique of Kevin Roberts' message in an interview that appeared in New Zealand's "The Listener" magazine.

Here's the dissected version of the interview from Johnnie Moore's weblog.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who gets to feeling a bit snarky about some of the things Kevin Roberts says.

Alchemy for Alcoholics
Because turning lead into gold won't get you drunk.
It's creative-thinking guys like this that will discover the next major breakthrough in technology, medicine, or space travel.

...or perhaps they'll simply end up pickling their brains with their next experiment. Either way, I found this to be an excellent example of applied innovation.
"In the alchemical tradition, creation of the Philosopher’s stone is the ultimate end to man’s needs. The stone has the power to cure disease, prolong life, and possesses the added benefit of being able to transmute metals, as in lead into gold.

As scienticians, we believe that such an object exists, and that it can be used for our own dastardly purposes.Our theory is that a simple Brita water filter can be used to make bad vodka, into good."

Crazy bastards.


Monday, November 15, 2004

The Art of the Start
The how-to guide for starting anything
I've been a fan of Guy Kawasaki since I first read Rules For Revolutionaries back in 1999. As much as that book appealed to me -- I like this one more.

You may have noticed The Art of the Start has appeared in the "Idea Guy recommends" box for more than a month -- it's intentional. The Art of the Start has been on my personal "best-seller" list since the book was released.

I've read the book straight-through twice already, and it's on my reading list again a couple months from now. The first chapter remains my favorite, especially Guy's GIST formula: Great Ideas for Starting Things (I'm a sucker for a good acronym!) particularly the "Make Meaning" section. Guy talks a little more about what it means in this CEO Network Chat transcript.

I'm always pitching ideas in one form or another (aren't we all?) so I appreciate Guy's advice on the Art of Pitching in chapter three. You can read an abridged version of the chapter in this Forbes article.

You can also access a streaming video interview with ZDNet editor Dan Farber. In the 19-minute interview Guy shares advice for entrepreneurs, along with some solid strategies for start-ups.

A couple more cool things about the book?
How about the fact the cover designed was selected by holding a contest? Or the fact Kawasaki uses the micropayment system BitPass to sell downloads of audio excerpts and PDF summations of the key points in his speeches and books?

The Art of the Start
The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide

for Anyone Starting Anything
by Guy Kawasaki

Oooh! Almost forgot -- you can download Guy's The Art of the Start Manifesto from ChangeThis.com

Friday, November 12, 2004

I'm a Junk Man too!
Yet another reason why Tom Peters kicks ass
Tom's latest has me reveling in the fact that I enjoy getting calls from telesolicitors, digging through stacks of junkmail postcards and pamphlets, and really don't mind deleting an inbox full of Viagra ads and pleas from South African expatriates if it means finding clues, ideas, and signs pointing to my NBI (Next Big Idea).

I am the Junk Man.
...Goo Goo G’Joob.

World Wide Cobwebs
Clearing away some old web links
I collect links and sites to share with you via my blog posts, but sometimes I collect too many at once and some of the best get pushed to the bottom (I really need to rotate my stock of ideas more often!)

Here's one I've been meaning to share for awhile:
What if great movies had been websites?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Blog Stuff
New links, thinks, and laughs
I updated the BrainBlog yesterday and added some links to the blog roll and the online comic banners.

A couple new comic favs are "John and John" and "Making Fiends". John and John can be a little gross and graphic, so consider this an adult content warning.

Making Fiends is a bit 'friendlier' in content, but it still tells the twisted animated tale of Vendetta, a grade-school girl who creates monstrous fiends she then lets loose upon the overly optimistic Charlotte.

I've added several new blogs to my links, and even subdivided them into categories to help sort the growing list of favorites. My top 'must-reads' now include GreedyGirl, Pause, and the Global Ideas Blog.

WARNING: New contents may cause thinking.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Opposite of Product Placement
Film Placement? Content Placement?
Amazon has started producing original short films through their Amazon Theater page.

It's long been said that in the near future you could watch a television program and click on the remote control to purchase products, clothing, furniture, etc. that are being used by your favorite characters -- Amazon brings us one step closer to that reality by publishing a list of every product and accessory used in the film and even providing active links within the end credits.

I haven't watched all five of their current films yet, but the latest title is "Portrait" starring Minnie Driver. Looks like they're investing in 'real' talent for their movie reels.

It's a pretty cool idea.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Dreams DO Come True
Teen Author Celebrates 18th Birthday with Book Release
Leah Lauber wrote Soccer Dreams to describe her true-life adventure of following the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team as a 12-year-old junior reporter during their historic 1999 Women's World Cup victory.

It's filled with exciting and doubly inspirational stories of the U.S. Women's National Team achieving their ultimate success, and Leah's own dream-come-true by living it right along with them and using her writing to share their victory with the world.

Help Leah celebrate her 18th birthday today by purchasing your very own copy of Soccer Dreams. She'll even give YOU a gift, and reward your purchase with over $1,300 in bonus gifts. Just visit www.SoccerDreamsBook.com for details.

Soccer Dreams is a great gift for the young people in your life, and an inspiring read that will help renew your own passions. It's a perfect present for someone on your holiday list.

Help this young author climb the Amazon BestSeller List on her birthday -- buy a copy of Soccer Dreams today for this special one-day offer.

http://www.SoccerDreamsBook.com

Thursday, November 04, 2004

New & Interesting
Instant Video Generator
This seems like a pretty cool product for use in online tutorials, seminars, etc. I've used the Audio Generator product with very good results. The demo for this new video product seems equally impressive.

Check it out.
I especially like the way the person in the homepage video interacts with the elements on the webpage (specifically, the email form.) Kinda cool!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Morning After
Election Hangover
Up late watching the election results from my home state of Ohio. I'm amazed, impressed, and proud of the voter turnout (no matter which way the state finally swings.)

Kudos to the election day volunteers -- they had a much longer day than they could have ever imagined, and most seemed to have weathered it in good cheer.

The Democratic process kicks ass!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

STOP READING THIS
AND GO CAST YOUR VOTE!
Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote Go Vote

Monday, November 01, 2004

Change What?
Major Manifestations of Multiple Manifestos
It's been awhile since I wrote about ChangeThis.com, so I thought I post a few links to some of my recent manifesto favorites...

A Physics of Ideas by Nova Spivak
The Talent Myth by Malcolm Gladwell
One-Minute Site by Oliva & Toscani

...And one of my all-time favorites:
How To Be Creative by Hugh MacLeod

Oooh!
A brand new one from my BzzAgent buddy...
The Word on Word of Mouth by Dave Balter

Read. Enjoy.
Spread the word.
Manifest success.


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DON the IDEA GUY

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