Saturday, July 22, 2006

A blank-page brainstorm

Starting out: the search for a subject

To get the ball rolling I choose a couple of random letters and make words of one syllable from those two letters.

Re = red. Re = rest. Un = urn. Ma = max. Ma = mad. Ma = mark. Mc = mac. Mc = mace. To = top. To = torn. To = two. Ds = days. Da = dees. Da = dab. Th = thwart. Th = thick. Th = theme.

Refining the search for a subject

I choose 'top'. Now I will use naming/listing to list different types of tops:

Table tops = the top of tables. Ascot tops = the top hats worn at Ascot. Ascot tops = the top events at Ascot racetrack. Side tops = The replica shirts of football teams. Side tops = The greatest (top) achievement of sporting clubs. Mexican tops = the places of highest altitude in Mexico. Mexican tops = Mexican hats. Delivery tops = The tops of delivery vans. Delivery tops = The most popular foodstuff that is delivered to homes. Motivation tops = The times in your life when you feel most motivated. Good tops = Clothes tops that you like. Good tops = Tasty toppings on desserts.

Choosing the subject

I choose: 'the tops of delivery vans'.

It is possible to order goods from supermarkets via the internet. The supermarkets deliver the goods to your home by van. I am focusing on the tops of those vans.

Using the grid technique to create ideas

Using the grid technique I create areas for the top of delivery van:

Create cycle area
Thought experiment: there could be an area of the van's top that has a cycle that the driver sometimes uses to power the vehicle. Making that idea workable: there could be cycle-type delivery service where the delivery man uses a bike to distribute products such as lollies, ice creams etc. Idea: The main delivery van could stock lollies and ice cream and offer additional goods not ordered by the customer. Tangent thought: ice cream vans could tell households that they will arrive at the same time as the supermarket delivery van. Benefit: households would know what time the ice cream van would arrive. Challenge: ice cream vans play music to alert people of their arrival. What other ways could the ice cream vans alert people? Possible solution: drop leaflets through the door to inform about a set-time of the ice cream van arrival. Possible solution: the ice cream van could send text alerts to all phones in the vicinity.

Create far area
What if: part of the van's top was removed and placed somewhere else in the street? Benefits: neighbours would become aware of the service. Idea: the delivery person could drop leaflets to the neighbours of the house where a delivery is made. The leaflets could inform them what time a regular delivery is made and ask them if they'd like a small delivery to be made. Benefits: the neighbours would be slowly introduced to the service.

Create hole area
What if: part of the van's top had a hole in it? Consequences: the food would get warm and no cold products could be delivered. Idea: cheaper deliveries that deliver 'room temperature' products, such as bread, biscuits or beans. Idea: the option to pay a premium for a 24 hour instant delivery (have you ever been a party where you run out of drinks and ciggies?)

Create microscope area:
What if: you could climb on the top of the van and be able to see a microscopic view of one of the products? Idea: the side of the van could show a sizeable picture of one of the products carried. Further idea: the van could have a surplus of that product with a 'stop me and buy one' policy. Further idea: with every delivery the customer could be supplied with a small sample of a product - or products. The customer could specify a different type of sample they'd like each week. For example, one week they could ask for drinks samples, next week herbal samples, next week dessert samples.

Create sink area
What if: an area of the top was sunken into the van? Consequence: the 'sink' would collect water. What if: the delivery van sold that water as 'pure' water? Idea: the van could distribute bottled water, but the customer would provide the bottle, thus saving money on packaging. Further idea: all deliveries could be 'packaging free' (to the greatest extent possible), thus saving more money.

Create warm area
Consequence: if part of the van's top were warm then obviously some of the deliveries would be heated. Idea: deliver meals, ready to eat. Further thought: every neighbourhood has restaurants that deliver to your door (our area has pizza shops and curry houses). Each of these employs their own staff to deliver. Alternatively, could a single agency provide all the restaurants with their delivery service? Perhaps that agency could be the first call made when you want food delivered. 'One number covers all'.

Create trip area

What if: the roof has a handle where you hold on and and travel with the delivery van? Consequence: you would find out what people in your area do and do not receive deliveries. Idea: if the number of deliveries in an area reaches a certain level the deliveries could be cheaper.

Create damage area

What if: an area of the top was damaged? Consequence: some of the food would be damaged. Idea: the delivery service could sell food (at a discount) that has passed its sell-by date but is still edible.

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