Interesting ways to find Ideas

by Thiyagarajan Maruthavanan (Rajan)

A quote that I recently read about how to find ideas “Attention-seizing, outlandish ideas are easy and fun to concoct. Far more difficult is to pick future directions that are likely. My preferred way for doing this, which has served me well, though not flawlessly, for the last 30 years, is this: Put in a salad bowl the wildest, most forward-thinking technological ideas that you can imagine. (This is the craziness part.) Then add your best sense of what will be useful to people. (That’s the rational part.) Start mixing the salad. If you are lucky, something will pop up that begins to qualify on both counts. Grab it and run with it, since the best way to forecast the future is to build it. This forecasting approach combines nonlinear ideas with the linear notion of human utility, and with a hopeful dab of serendipity.” (Michael Dertouzos, “Kurzweil vs. Dertouzos”, MIT Technology Review, January/February 2001)