Thinking “creatively”

Given that I am in the middle of my final exams, I am lacking something in terms of energy and creativity. It doesn’t bode well for the upcoming week, but I’ll have to give it my best shot…

In any case, I was struck by two celebrations of creativity online that gave me thoughts on how much easier it is in today’s world to be creative. The first I got from the Google Blog, where they announced the launch of Google Patent Search today. The service currently allows you to search through millions of US patents. That should spark people’s creative juices if nothing else does: at first glance, there are tons of crazy patents awarded to people, many of which should be food for thought. Or just a source for laughs. (Note: the service seems to be having some issues. I assume Google will sort those out fairly soon, though.)

The other source of inspiration for me was through a post by Robert Scoble referencing an article from Business 2.0 Magazine, 20 Smart Companies to Start Now. (Note to get your titles matched up – the article and page titles aren’t quite the same… that’s just sloppy.) In any case, the article is a list of 20 products that various venture capital firms are looking to sponsor. Reading the article is quite interesting, because the ideas cover a range of products and markets. I would, however, suggest having your own ideas for businesses: how many other people are going to read this article and decide they want to develop online spreadsheets? (And who else is already doing that…? *cough* Google *cough* Zoho *cough* etc) However, if you are in a position to develop an ultracapacitor or an “iDrive,” please do. Because I know for a fact that I will not be doing either of those things.

On a side note, however, both articles aren’t exactly sources of creativity. Rather, they are both repositories of other people’s creativity. That applies more to the patent search, but you can’t deny that the ideas in the “20 best” article are still someone else’s ideas to an extent. Actually realising those ideas is another story, however. That said, the ideas from the “20 best” article are ideas that are already mainstream ideas that will probably be realised by people who have already started developing their ideas. If you are, like me, fresh meat, it might be best to come up with a new idea or approach. Because it’s going to take us a while to get to a position in which someone is going to want to give us a few million to grow our business.


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