A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about. Ask me anything you can't Google.
Posts tagged "ideas"
Jul 31, 2014
I was going on a train from Manchester to London and I was looking out of the window at some cows, I believe, and I just thought: “Boy doesn’t know he’s a wizard - goes off to wizard school.” I have no idea where it came from. I think the idea was floating along the train and looking for someone and my mind was vacant enough so it decided to zoom in there.
Dec 06, 2013
It’s a cycle. You start a story, and it’s stupid. You don’t have any ideas. You’re washed up. Finished. And then you get a sliver of an idea, but it’s kind of dumb. Ugh. Then you start working it, and it becomes, oh, maybe. Alright. Yeah, I am going to finish this story. I did finish it! It’s not terrible! [Then] you don’t have any ideas. Is that what life is? It’s just a series of enacting the cycle. Lately, it’s become kind of wonderful to say, ‘Yeah, so now I’m at the point where I don’t have any ideas. Is is a crisis? No, it’s not a crisis. You’ve been here before. And maybe even you could enjoy that moment when you’re bereft of ideas… The goal would be to keep enacting that [cycle], live to 190, and put the period on the best story ever.
Oct 25, 2013
May 21, 2013
Feb 16, 2013
From Random Polygon to Ellipse
Draw some random points on a piece of paper and join them up to make a random polygon. Find all the midpoints and connecting them up to give a new shape, and repeat. The resulting shape will get smaller and smaller, and will tend towards an ellipse! [code] [more] [bigger version]
Dear Unthinkable Mind Class,
This looks like a picture of how a cohesive idea slowly makes itself present. It reminds me of how memories prompted by any random word will always generate a story once we focus on them.
I filled at least half a dozen notebook pages on a plane recently trying to recreate this. Maybe the best illustration of how a book or a project comes together, too…
Jan 09, 2013
Ideas, in a sense, are overrated. Of course, you need good ones, but at this point in our supersaturated culture, precious few are so novel that nobody else has ever thought of them before. It’s really about where you take the idea, and how committed you are to solving the endless problems that come up in the execution.
Dec 05, 2012
» “How to Get Startup Ideas” by Paul Graham
The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It’s to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself.
A really great essay that could just as easily be about coming up with ideas for books, music, design, etc. (“Write the book you want to read.”)
Loved this point about not taking too much of a course load in college:
Or don’t take any extra classes, and just build things. It’s no coincidence that Microsoft and Facebook both got started in January. At Harvard that is (or was) Reading Period, when students have no classes to attend because they’re supposed to be studying for finals.
“Live in the future, then build what’s missing.”
Sep 23, 2012
A lot of my ideas start with looking at a tool and thinking what else you could do with it other than what it was intended for.
Aug 11, 2012
Jul 16, 2012
I’ve learned you have to be careful when you get lost in an idea. As an artist, you have to get a little lost. Otherwise you won’t discover anything interesting. But you have to avoid getting so lost that you’re unable to walk away and keep exploring.
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