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I once read that innovation is not about creating new things but finding new uses for things that already exist. This idea presents itself as a challenge… How can I use this? What can I combine this with? Where can this idea be applied elsewhere? This practice and thinking may not come across as innovative or genius but rather appear to be rather stupid. More and more I’ve realized there is a fine line between what might be considered stupid and innovative.
Some of my best ideas have developed and grown from some of the more questionably good ideas. The best ideas generally don’t develop without a heaping pile of bad ideas.
In 2006 I started a website called Millions of Hundred Dollar Ideas ( www.MoHDI.com) a sort of depository for my uh… not so great ideas. While the site doesn’t get the love it used to. The regular practice of innovation continues on stronger than ever.
Some years ago I had this concept for a line of shirts that would have embroidered on it either a rock, paper or scissors graphic. The idea was that instead of selling just one shirt at a time people would buy them in packs of three so they could have the option of playing the classic rock, paper, scissors game with others who owned the shirt. Not only would I get people to buy the shirts but at some point they would encourage others to buy the shirts too in order to play with them. Not too long ago, this idea evolved into something a bit more intimate as it made more sense to have the game played on underwear as opposed to shirts. This would add a new level of to this game/ product and was probably the best evolution of this idea.
I used to hang out with a guy named Jake who would always say something about developing ideas that always stuck with me. It was something to this extent…
Whatever your idea is, if you boil it down to the simplest form where no one can stop you from doing it, you can move forward with it. For example Jake wanted to have a radio station, now as a large idea, this is a rather complicated and costly process. At it’s simplest form though, with a few pieces of hardware and an internet connection you can broadcast to the world and have some sort of a internet radio station.
I’m not a clothing maker, I don’t know how to make shirts, underwear or socks for that matter. With the idea of making this new clothing line with rock, paper and scissors on it, I’m creating a massive amount of work for myself in a field that I probably don’t want to be in or dedicated to for a long time to just see this idea grow. At it’s simplest form though, without having to design shirts/ underwear without having to spend a large amount of money on materials and have factories crank out my new line of wildly popular and amazing clothing… I can simplify this idea down to a form where no one can stop me from making it happen. This simplified form is a button with either a rock, paper or scissors hand image on it.
The idea of having a social game that is vicinity based and required no modern technology is pretty wonderful. Imagine being in a networking setting where the people you want to connect with are rather apparent by some sort of button or pin, you could even have some sort of radar system on your phone with more detailed information about the people you are around. Imagine having a button or pin to indicate to others how hungry you are, perhaps to show your current mental health state, maybe it shows what your current net worth is. It’s interesting how easy it is to break down social barriers with others by simply providing them a tool for a warm interaction with a complete stranger. It’s nice to think that a violent game like Rock, Paper, Scissors might actually bring people together in some way.
I love ideas, I like to see them evolve and give them legs to run with.
Rock, Paper, Scissors, MoHDI