If you’re into electronic music you’ll know how DJs sample an old track to create a brand new song. Well, Tuesday is your day to play DJ; this is when you draw inspiration from existing products.
The day starts by bringing together existing ideas from near and far, from which you can build your own solutions. Just think of it like playing with Lego: you amass as many pieces as possible and put them together into an original design.
So, when putting a project together, it’s best to gather lots of ideas and see how they combine. And remember, these ideas might come from anywhere, not necessarily just your competitors.
For instance, Savioke didn’t get their robot’s aesthetic from the latest robotic innovations, but rather from the Japanese animated film My Neighbor Totoro. In this movie, the main character is a giant friendly monster that proved a huge inspiration for finalizing the appearance of the robot’s eyes.
After researching existing ideas, your work should be presented to the group through what’s called lightning demos. In this process, each team member takes three minutes to present on their favorite existing solutions, preferably from fields that are different than yours.
After that, you’re ready to sketch out how the solutions presented by your team fit together. This is a great way to level the playing field for your team members. After all, not everyone is a tech nerd – but everyone can draw simple visualizations of potential solutions.
Sketching ideas is also in line with the teachings of the productivity guru, David Allen. For instance, as Allen explains in his book Getting Things Done, you shouldn’t take on an assignment as one big daunting task – such as finding a job – but rather start with small initial steps, like updating your resume.
Similarly, your sketch will help you break down your solution into distinct parts that you can play around with and take on separately.