A REAL WORLD DEMO | Driving Eureka! #11



Happy New Years to Everyone.





of a Smarter Way to Invent Ideas

The Stimulus Response system we teach in our Innovation Engineering courses has been proven in the real world. Dr. Andy VanGundy validated that it was 5X more effective than classic brain storming or rather “brain draining” as it’s often called. 

For this week’s newsletter I thought it might be interesting to take readers and listeners through the step by step process of Stimulus Response. My objective is creating 3 insights to share as part of the Driving Eureka! Newsletter


My initial stimulus as given to me by Tripp Babbit my co-host on the Driving Eureka! Podcast we are currently recording for release this month. 

Tripp gave me the following three pieces of unrelated stimulus to create a feature article for this weeks newsletter.


 The first thing I did was to make Phillip Kurtz’s Cranberry Mule Cocktail that is featured this week in the Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy below. I took a big sip and took each piece of RANDOM stimulus and free associated on them… 

DOGS sparked thoughts of…Loyal, fun, furry, A Pack, best friend, trusted, can be nasty, no kill shelters (my wife volunteers at one).

GOLF sparked thoughts of fun, difficult, par, over par, under par, Tiger Woods (sorry I just love that after messing up and getting hurt - he’s not given up...and is fighting back).

STOCK MARKET sparked thoughts of scary, roller coaster, ups and downs, pressure on CEO’s, pressure on those close to retirement.     

I then took another sip of my Cranberry Mule and started to think of insights I could share. Note - what I’m doing is reading the list over and over - allowing my brain to connect the dots.

PAR  - made me think of the need to apply benchmarking to innovation speed to market. Companies could compare their projects, people and processes versus world class. It could be a system for determining where the “blockages” are.

PRESSURE ON THOSE CLOSE TO RETIREMENT & NO KILL SHELTERS - made me think of a crazy idea. What if in big companies - the week before people retire or leave for another company they go to the “NO KILL IDEA SHELTER” - with nothing to lose they help create ideas for what the company can do with it's processes, products and services.

ROLLER COASTER & TIGER WOODS - made me think of having companies go back to the notes from previous brainstorming sessions and look at all the ideas generated with fresh ideas. Could some of those that were “down” then be “up” now. Could some of those ideas make a comeback. 

So that is one cocktail worth of thinking.  If I had others with me - the results would grow exponentially.



Driving Eureka! Book Excerpt

There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.

—Mark Twain Biography 

Create, Problem Solve, Recreate

The Innovation Engineering course titled CREATE should be called CREATE, PROBLEM SOLVE & RECREATE. 

For successful innovations, 10% of a project’s creativity is used to spark the starting idea. The remaining 90% is used to improve and reinvent the idea as it’s made real. Thomas Edison felt the ratio was even higher. He famously said, “Genius is ninety-nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration.”

The HARD Way to CREATE = Brain draining

The hard way to create ideas is to sit in a room and attempt to “suck” ideas from your mind. It’s a process of poking and prodding your brain to think up ideas. This process is called brainstorming. However, the effect is more like brain draining. I call it the “Suck Method” of creativity. It is grounded in the belief that ideas come from inside us. This is an egocentric view of the world of idea creation. Brain draining is not effective, efficient, or fun. With brain draining, the brain is considered the source of all ideas, a sort of idea library ready at all times for any withdrawals its owner may wish to make. 

The SMART Way to CREATE = Stimulus Response

The smart way to create ideas is to feed your brain stimulus—sights, sounds, learning, facts. Then, have your brain react off the stimulus to create Meaningfully Unique ideas. Stimulus sparks ideas. It sets off a chain reaction of idea associations and creations. Stimulus can take many forms—from sights, sounds, and scents to customer data and firsthand experiences.

Diversity of perspectives multiplies the sparks from the stimulus through the different ways that each person perceives and interprets the stimulus.

Those whom society considers to be “creative geniuses” are simply those who have learned how to open their mind to stimulus. They have an overwhelming curiosity to learn more about their problems, possible solutions, and life itself. They have an openness to fresh ides from themselves and others. They are open to fresh thoughts, perspectives, and ideas from others. They embrace a new world of “Curiosity and Change” when it comes to ideas instead of the old “Declare and Defend” approach.

If you'd like to read more order now by clicking HERE - If you already have the book head on over to your favorite online book store and tell everyone how much you enjoyed it!




Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy:
Cranberry Mule

The cocktail this week is another great winter drink. It's our riff on the classic Moscow Mule. It's tart, it's sweet, and the perfect 5:00 rest and relax sensation.


1.5 oz Gin
1.5 tbsp Cranberry Simple Syrup (click for recipe)
4 dashes Cranberry Bitters
Ginger Beer

Step 1: Combine first 3 ingredients in shaker and shake.
Step 2: Pour over ice & top with ginger beer.
Step 3: Garnish with Orange slice.

Doug Hall

The Driving Eureka! Newsletter is a compilation of case studies, new techniques, thought provoking insights, an occasional rant, and excerpts from my books 



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