Creative Swiping (or Idea Recycling)

You may very well be asking ‘What is Creative Swiping and how could it help me?’. Think of it as taking ideas from elsewhere and using them or reusing them. The elsewhere could be from within your own life or business or from outside. Be careful that you don’t infringe copyrights or other rights but do keep a look out for the things that others are making or doing and also look out for the ‘how’.

Apart from advances in medicine or advanced materials, most ideas that can be generated are already in existence in some way. The successful people are just combining them in new ways.

To make the most of this way of thinking try keeping the following in mind when observing the world, not just colleagues or competitors:

  • What else is like this or who else works like this?
  • Does this suggest anything else to me?
  • Has this been done before (even if badly)?
  • What has prevented others from doing this previously, have costs come down?
  • What could I copy (legitimately)?
  • Can I combine this with some of my own ideas or technology?
  • Can this be modified to work in another niche or sector?
  • What experiments have failed in one context but might work in another?

As an example, I was taking a seminar in which I was talking about using springboard ideas and using a list of modifications to make to existing products or services. A gentleman attending had created a pop-up book for children on gardening. He left with an idea for a ‘scratch and sniff’ book on gardening for children.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on nature also. As more of the natural world is revealed it provides both new materials, medicines and ideas.

Geniuses such as Thomas Edison spent there lifetime doing just this. Just think what they could have done with all of the things that we can play with and combine now.

Remember, originality is not mandatory but adaptability is key.

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Derek Cheshire