People love great ideas. They make us smile. The best ones we share and talk about.
Ideas we can do with other people are even better, because doing stuff together makes it more fun.
Words with Friends is still one of my favourite examples of this. Taking a concept of something we do together in real life, letting us do it when we are apart, continues to spark conversations full of smiles when we see each other.
One of the great things about working in an industry like this is we get to have ideas and make things for people, and we all want to have ideas that people will actually want to get involved in, and ideally, make them happy.
To seek out inspiration for those ideas we often now turn to the internet. Because it is overwhelmingly full of amazing ideas, art, creativity, games and it has tools to analyse what people do.
But generally, in a physical sense, we mostly experience the internet alone. So are we missing some important insights about what people really like to do by not truly experiencing how and why they have fun when their together?
Back in the 1980s I watched a kids TV show in the UK called ‘Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead?’
Arty ideas were sent in by viewers, like how to make models, toys and games out of ‘handy junk’, how to perform tricks or how to throw together messy, inedible recipes which surely got many into trouble with mum! Cornflake crushing, chocolate melting, milk whisking, ice-cream floating, cocoa sprinkling, fruit squeezing, 100’s and 1000’s scattering combinations were the norm! Recorded reports and interviews on activities such as horse riding, after school jobs, sports training etc. were carried out by various members of the gang. The whole show was interspersed with ‘read out’ jokes that even the hosts would groan at.
I am gutted there is not more of the show available online to share. But you can watch the opening credits here.
80s randomness aside, I think the show had a very important message. Doing stuff you can share together in real life is more interesting. So shouldn’t we be looking for clues for what our ideas could be there?
So, why don’t you turn off your computer and do something more interesting instead? Because even if an idea is going to be brought to live online, the interesting part is what we do with it in real life, with other people. Chances are, that that’s where the best ideas, the ones that really make us smile, are going to come from.