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:

Crash Course on Creativity

An email floated around at my work a few weeks ago about some free online courses offered by Stanford University. Coincidentally, I recently read the Wired magazine article about a free online class experiment initiated by Stanford professor, Sebastian Thrun. Thrun has since started a company to continue offering courses taught by top professors. It looks like the experiment has gained some traction at Stanford. The Venture Lab began offering a course this past spring and it attracted over 40,000 students around the world.

Five courses are offered this fall. I opted to take A Crash Course on Creativity. The first lecture consisted of some reading and a video. The first assignment was about getting to know our teammates and find out what we all have in common. The assignment had to be submitted as a team. There wasn’t much info on the format of the submissions. My team started communicating by email and a Google Docs spreadsheet to list our interests, hobbies, etc. When one person asked how we would present our submission, a Venn diagram came to me right away. I started a Google Docs drawing and invited the rest of the team to join in. We finalized the drawing at a Google+ hangout (my first!) and I volunteered to turn in the assignment.

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