Newsletter: August, 2010

Newsletter: August, 2010



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August 2010: Escape the Box with Creative Thinking
You’ve probably heard the saying “think outside the box.” It means to look beyond the obvious to find a creative solution to a problem. But do you know where it comes from? Some people say it comes from this puzzle. Try to connect all the dots using only four straight lines. You’ll literally have to “think outside the box!”

Biz Kid of the Month
Students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are about to change the world of transportation with their new invention called The Copenhagen Wheel.  This is a great example of thinking outside the box. They developed a hybrid-electric wheel that can bolt onto any bike to help push the cyclist along. It also works with an iPhone to provide all kinds of useful fitness and location information to the user. Check it out!

Creativity in business
Business is an area where creativity can really set you apart. Thinking outside the box can help you:

* Spot opportunities for making money that others have overlooked–such as using a familiar tool in a new way, or serving a need that is currently unmet
* Solve problems in your community
* Overcome the challenges that every entrepreneur faces
* Stand out from other employees by coming up with a great solution to a problem.

Note that in every case, a great idea has to be followed up with hard work and dedication! But inspiration is an important first step.

Real-life examples
Here are a couple of famous products that required creative thinking to get where they are today:

* The Slinky was invented by a naval engineer who accidentally knocked a spring off of a shelf and thought the now-familiar “walking” motion would be fascinating to kids. Hundreds of millions of Slinkies have been sold worldwide. Check out the online Slinky museum here.

* The reusable adhesive that makes Post-it notes work was invented accidentally. It took years to find a practical use for the stuff.Learn all about the history of Post-it.

Get the creative juices flowing
Here’s a list of things you can do to make yourself more creative.
Try these “lateral thinking” puzzles to get yourself thinking beyond the obvious.
Read everything you can. The more knowledge you have, the more unexpected connections you can make.
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