How to produce ideas – 8 tips for good ideas

How to produce ideas 8 tips for good ideasThis is a second post in my idea series. The first one was “9 excuses why ideas wont happen in business“. Topic for this post is How to produce ideas?

Some people seem to produce ideas with constant flow. Some have always new thoughts, new ideas and they are confident that they will invent something.

How to produce ideas? How you will be an idea factory?

What is an idea? How to produce ideas?

Wikipedia has really long definition for idea. The definition goes to deep philosophy and at least I was lost in a minute.

Lets choose the most known person for ideas – Steve Jobs. We think he was genius and constantly producing ideas. Right?

Steve Jobs said:

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

Marketing master James Webb Young wrote 1939 book “a technique for producing ideas”. Young is often referred in internet when it comes to producing new ideas. In his book he mentions:

The first [principle is] that an idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements.


The second important principle involved is that the capacity to bring old elements into new combinations depends largely on the ability to see relationships.

These two gentleman have similar view about the idea. There is 60 years between their quotes, but shortly both of them think that idea is just combination of old elements.

That is what I believe as well. The best ideas are not suffocated with details or harnessed with doubts. People who can understand the relations of different matters build the best ideas. People who can connect people, problems, old elements and possibilities.

The ideas are not coming from space. People who have bigger understanding and ability to connect, build the greatest ideas.


1. Find the idea elements and build the base for new ideas

Like the Jobs and Young said, idea is a combination of old elements. If you don’t have old elements as building blocks, you wont get new ideas.

You need to have experiences, information, understanding and knowledge.

Talk to people. Try new things. Explore. You need to have something to build your idea on.

2. Forget all shyness and shame

People think that new ideas are dangerous and scary. Better the idea, more rebellious it is. Good ideas feel uncomfortable first.

Forget completely what others think. Creatives are always against the flow. Their ideas are thought as impossible and dangerous, since they often shake the boat and force people to think and move from the comfort zone. When you have resistance, you know there is something in your idea.

Don’t judge your idea ever. There are no bad ideas. You cannot know if it is bad or good, before it has taken any step of implementation.

Stop thinking if idea already exists or if it has been already tried. It does not matter.


3. Be always ready to write them down

Ideas come and go. They usually are in your head when you least expect.

Make sure that you are ready when you will get the idea. Write everything down. Write even the smallest ideas. Write them down. Don’t lose them.


Since when you have ideas listed, and you will come back to them, you will get more ideas. Even your own ideas are build on top of your previous ideas.

They are like pyramid, but upside down. First you will have one, then two, then four and then eight.

James Altucher said that Ideas will have kids – they really do.

(If you ask who is James Altucher – I will tell it later)


4. Reserve the creative times for ideas and take distance

Detect your creative times and use them.

You can go out, exercise, clean your house, but don’t do brainwork – let ideas flow – but remember to have pen and paper or Evernote with you.

Any kind of brainwork, will block creative part of your brain and you wont have ideas.

5. Reduce stress

Stressed people cannot be creative. Move away from stress. Do whatever you can to reduce stress.

How to get rid of stress is another story and worth several posts – you can start with this post change your mind and feel better.

6. Cook your idea

When you get your idea, write it down and then leave it. Let it cook. It will never be overcooked. It will get better and better and you will come back to your idea boiler if idea is good.

Read your list of ideas every day. Rank them and read them through. Write all new ideas to list – make it daily routine.

You know what happens?

You start to get more ideas. You will go through the list and your ideas really start to have kids. After few weeks you will have idea kindergarten in your notebook.


7. Practice and make it routine.


You need to practice and build your idea building muscle. Create ideas and write them in your notebook daily. Don’t say you don’t have ideas. You can force ideas, if you want – just forget all shame and shyness.


8. Join with other idea producers.

When great minds meet, new ideas will born. You need to spend time with others to have more variation to your ideas. Ideas make babies, and if they mix with other ideas, they will get even more babies.


Creating ideas is one thing. Next step is to make them happen and that is the difficult part. Which is sad. Producing ideas that wont happen, is like making babies that wont grow.

Stay tuned. I will give you instructions how to make your ideas happen. You can also subscribe to my FREE mailing list and get all the latest updates.

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  • philippe99

    “Be always ready to write them down”… that’s my leitmotiv in all my coding projects

    • Rami Rantala

      If you don’t write ideas anywhere, you will forget to do them AND sometimes when I write them I already realise that they don’t make sense.

      Although, I am fan of impossible ideas ;-)

      Thanks for your comment!

      • philippe99

        Totally agree: writing down project ideas is half of my coding effort .

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