An Unexpected Source of Inspiration

Sitting at a coffee house this morning eating my breakfast, I brought a pile of magazines to read. One of them was PC Magazine, Nov 7 ’06 issue which featured 99 surprising new websites. Between articles like this and TechCrunch, I always like to look at what else people are working on.
But as I read through this website list, I thought about a web application that I discussed with a friend yesterday. It was a very early conversation where an entrepreneur has an interesting idea, but I felt it needed more work to take it beyond just a tool to something bigger. As I read through the websites in PC Magazine, I encountered one that was a content website. But it also sparked an idea related to the one that an entrepreneur had. So the area in which the content website played created a possible improvement to the entrepreneur’s idea. I had not expected PC Magazine to help me with this entrepreneur’s idea, but then isn’t that how creativity works sometimes?
I find that expanding one’s view, as well as experiences, increases the chance for creativity. Our brains have more information to link and cross link together in new and unique ways. It is why I consume tons of reading material from all subject areas. Magazines like The Economist, Popular Science, PC Magazine, WIRED, BusinessWeek, Discover, DWELL, Time, Runner’s World, Newsweek, Triathlete, Esquire. Books from science fiction to novels to non-fiction in all areas. It is also why I have traveled a lot; experiencing other places, cultures, and people also helps to expand my creativity.
A long time ago, my art professor told me about traveling and its relationship to creating art and design. I did not fully understand what he was talking about until the broadening of my experiences happened. It made me my creativity more powerful simply because I had more to draw from than just from my imagination.
Broaden your experiences. I am sure it will work for you as it did for me.