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Napkin sketch brainstorming

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

The only way to find good ideas is to have a lot of bad ideas.

Don’t settle on your first idea, it's probably unformed or obvious. Keep digging until the good ideas come out.

Today, I challenge you to come up with a lot of ideas for something simple. Like removing all the water from a bucket.

The first ideas come easy: 1. Tip the bucket over, spilling the contents 2. Use a ladle to remove the liquid 3. Use a bulb syringe to suction the liquid.

Then you stall out. Your brain runs dry. 4. Use a hose to siphon the liquid. 5. Displace the liquid with something like rocks. 6. Or mercury 7. Or a steel block in the shape of the inside of the bucket

Now the ideas are flowing. 7. Boil the water until it evaporates 8. Blow compressed air into the bucket until all the water splashes out. 9. Spin the bucket really fast, so the water runs over the edge. 10. Stick a sponge into the bucket, remove and squeeze

Soon you run out of ideas. This is when the creativity strikes. 11. Hire a dog to drink the water 12. Or a horse, but all you can do is lead him there 13. Drill a hole in the bottom of the bucket 14. Use a rope to wick the water out 15. On and on...

Are you good at coming up with ideas?

I love creative brainstorms. Call me next time you're stumped on a challenging problem.

I'd love to help: 763-229-9516


Today, I'm launching a new creative brainstorming service called Napkin Sketch Brainstorm.

In these creative sketch-driven sessions, we'll explore the following: 1. Design concepts 2. Manufacturing methods 3. Part breakup 4. Mechanism concepts 5. System EE/ME layout

Sign up for a free 20-min trial at

If you love the experience, we can work together on your next creative challenge.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!


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