How are breakthrough ideas born? Is it a conscious process or a burst of creative input?

There is a popular opinion that new ideas come exceptionally to creative people’s mind and there is surely no need to involve product consumers in this process, as they cannot invent anything new. Is it really so?

Breakthrough ideas: creative input or understanding?

I will briefly express several important ideas about this issue:

  1. Creative work can never be effective without immersion into client’s objectives and understanding the end consumer. Even the most appealing ideas that are, however, irrelevant to consumers are thrown into a waste bin with time.
  2. The market today is characterized by a huge gap between the «manufacturers» of creative input and research agencies translating the needs of end consumers. Yes, creative agencies sometimes order research projects, but, first, it happens very seldom and, second, there is no integration within a single team. This problem partially becomes a catalyst of another problem specified in the first point.
  3. A barrier to involving consumers in the creative process is a seriously wrong belief: «Consumers are unable to invent anything, they can only translate their current experience.» It is a mere stereotype. There are already tested instruments to select creative consumers, instruments for generating non-trivial ideas, and methods to test creative materials.

The objectives and opportunities for this industry now pertain to the development of approaches to forming interdisciplinary teams for complicated projects where researchers and creative specialists would complement each other.

Oleg Naydenov