Flushed with Inspiration

Where do you get your ideas?

In my case, ideas for new features often come to me when I’m away from the keyboard.  For example, the idea for FeedDemon’s new "panic button" – which appears to be a popular feature – popped into my head in the unlikeliest of places.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but the "panic button" idea came to me late at night, just before I went to bed.  As I was…uhhm…sitting on the can.

As you can imagine, I wasn’t thinking about FeedDemon at the time.  Yet without any warning, I suddenly had a fully-formed feature in my head.  I guess you could call it pot luck.

How about you – do you ever get ideas in unexpected places?

13 thoughts on “Flushed with Inspiration

  1. My best ideas come under shower or on toilet. It seems these are rare places where brain is not bombarded with informations.

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  2. I get inspiration in all kinds of places. It’s funny how these things come in… sometimes I guess I’ve been idly processing things for days or weeks, and then they just pop up in my brain. Very recently, a conspiracy of blog postings by various people and client requests resulted in a fully formed product strategy that came to me in the elevator. I nearly fell over, it was like being hit across the head with a 2×4.

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  3. As others have said, the shower has been my source for ideas. It is a strange thing, but too many times I have had something come to me while lathering up under the shower.

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  4. Perhaps not an unexpected place, but as I’m falling asleep I like to think about design and features. Frequently, right before I doze off, an unusual idea will come. Occasionally they are good enough to make a point of remembering and testing the next day.

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  5. Brushing your teeth is da shit for coming up with great ideas, it has happened uncountable times to me during that!
    I guess the common denominator here (looking at the comments so far) is situations when your mind is bored with the current (lack of) stimuli, and thus start to wander and process “backlog information” just to break out of the boredom. :-)

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  6. Shower most, traffic second.
    My business partner and I have speculated about the power of the shower to bring creative ideas:
    1. The water droplets mean less (no) dust so the air you breath is a higher in oxygen (does that sound TOTALLY stupid – yes it does).
    2. The, often, stark-ish (not ers!) surroundings, like large expanses of white (tiles) leave no clutter for the brain to focus on, so it goes for a creative walk
    3. Dang… as I am not currently in the shower, I cannot think of the others.
    This makes me wonder if one could ‘go to have an idea’, like going to put on the kettle for a cup of Tea etc…

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  7. +1 on the shower.
    As for Alan’s theories on WHY the shower is so inspirational… I had a grad school prof (full PhD) who swore in all seriousness that the effects are due to the hallucinatory merits of heated and atomized chlorine from the tap water.
    I’m not making it up. Methinks somebody had watched Dr. Strangelove one time too many.
    Then again, he was a Project Management prof, so one has to wonder what he had already been smoking. ;)

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  8. I once had a business-partner that, in an important meeting, came back from the gents with a smile on the face and a new idea, saying “Washing my hands is so inspirational”. So from that time on, whenever he suggested something bad, we told him to wash his hands :)
    For me, shower and loo are also very creative places – and I always have pen + paper nxt to my bed…

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