Creativity Course assignment 9 (finale)

This is part of a series of blog posts in regards to the online class, A Crash Course on Creativity offered by the Venture Lab at Stanford University. Click here to check out the entire series.

After the final team project, there is one last lecture and assignment. The lecture focused on the importance of experimentation and gaining insights from failures. One of the additional resources is this TED video about Tinkering School:

I would have loved to attend such a school. I wish home remodeling is as forgiving. After too many trips to Home Depot and the neighborhood hardware store, I’ve definitely learned a lot from my failures!

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Creativity Course assignments 5-8

This is part of a series of blog posts in regards to the online class, A Crash Course on Creativity offered by the Venture Lab at Stanford University. Click here to check out the entire series.

Prior to lecture 5, there was an announcement about a final team project that would last four weeks. The students were given the freedom to form their own teams. Team of one is an option and I decided to do just that. I don’t know anyone in the class. For the last two team projects, I let the Venture Lab software pick the teams for me. That experience was not great. We were given 7 days or less to complete the assignments. I couldn’t get a hold of any teammates until half of the 7 days have passed. Aside from that, we had to work around everyone’s schedule, time zones, etc. It’s just too complicated.

Lecture 5 was a lengthy description of the brainstorming process. It also introduced the concept of a mind map. The assignment was part 1 of the final team project and it was about defining a problem of not getting enough sleep. Almost everyone was focusing on some problems that keep people awake. I interpreted it as coming up with a problem that requires people to stay awake. Here’s what I submitted:

A runner who specializes in ultramarathon finished the Western States Endurance Run within the 30-hour limit last year and earned a bronze belt buckle. He wants to finish the race in 24 hours this year to earn the silver belt buckle. He has the fitness to run 100 miles but his biggest enemy is sleep. What can he do to stay awake?

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Creativity Course assignment 4

This is part of a series of blog posts in regards to the online class, A Crash Course on Creativity offered by the Venture Lab at Stanford University. Click here to check out the entire series.

Lecture 4 is about connect and combine. Combining ideas or objects that might seem like they have no relation with each other. This TED video was listed as one of the additional resources.

The best part of the video is in the last 30 seconds. It’s absolutely brilliant.

Our creativity comes from without, not from within. We are not self-made. We are dependent on one another, and admitting this to ourselves isn’t an embrace of mediocrity and derivativeness. It’s a liberation from our misconceptions, and it’s an incentive to not expect so much from ourselves and to simply begin.

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Creativity Course assignment 3

This is the third blog post for A Crash Course on Creativity. Click here and here to read the first two posts. Lecture 3 is about framing and reframing. It means looking at things from different angles to reach new solutions, insights, or discoveries. I was blown away by one of the examples – the virtual shopping experience created by Tesco Homeplus of South Korea. It’s the best use of QR code I’ve ever seen. Check out this video:

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Creativity Course assignment 2

This is the 2nd blog post for A Crash Course on Creativity. Click here to read the first one. Lecture 2 is about paying attention. The idea is that if you can make observations that everyone else misses, you will find interesting insights and hidden opportunities. The assignment centered around that idea and it required us to visit 6 stores to make observations. It’s a lot of work for a one-week assignment. The instructor extended the deadline for 2 days after Sandy hit the east coast. My best wishes to all the students in the east coast and I hope everything gets back to normal for you all soon.

The deadline extension gave me more time to reflect on the true purpose of the assignment. It came with a worksheet called “Observation Lab” which consists of a long list of questions about the features of a store, such as lighting, flooring, how employees interact, sound, smell, etc. I carried the worksheets to the stores but I soon realized it limited me from really looking for the hidden gems. I was particularly attracted to signs. If I had time, I would have made another video titled, “The Signs of Our Time”! Anyhow, I had to focus on the work at hand. I was up past midnight four nights in a row to finish it. Here’s the end product: