When I think of idea generation and brainstorming, I think of adaptation and variation on concepts and themes. A single concept in a brainstorming session can lead to dozens of other ideas that splinter off the original concept through adapting the concept to other specific purposes and varying elements of the concept to alter the production or use of the original concept.
When I think adaptation and variation, I think of tomatoes
Tomatoes must be the most flexible and adaptable of foods. Growing up, we all thought of the tomato as a vegetable, and then all of a sudden we discover it’s a fruit — and our minds are blown. Everything we thought we knew (at least about the tomato) changed.
So, start with the fact it’s a vegetable or a fruit based on your context.
Then take into account all the varieties of the tomato itself.
- Topsy Tom
That’s not nearly a complete list, and some of you may even know that there are variations on those variations with a half-dozen more types of the Heirloom and Beefsteak varieties.
But we’re not close to being finished because of the variation of tomato products
From pizza to pasta to your morning juice or evening cocktail, a tomato variation is on the menu.
- Tomato Juice
- Tomato Puree
- Tomato Paste
- Tomato Sauce
- Pico de gallo / Salsa
- Picante Sauce
The next time you’re ready to say you’re stumped on a project and can’t think of another idea to contribute, consider the humble ‘mater and put your brain back to work on a new adaptation or variation of your original creative concept.
I think you’ll find the time is ripe for squeezing out a few more ideas you can harvest.