Good day all im back on the creativity train and no its not me coming up with some awesome idea to share with y’all. It about an inventor named Chris Hawker who is the owner of a business named Trident Design which is a full-service invention incubator offering product design, engineering, prototyping, branding, licensing, and consulting. He talks about how he gets his ideas and how he uses creativity to improve the possibilities of great ideas as well as tips and tricks as to how he uses crowdfunding to capitalize in today’s market for funding and selling his inventions.

Here’s the podcast https://soundcloud.com/lewishowes/chris-hawker

Key Points Taken

How does one unlock their creative potential – 5:55.
Being creative is the ability to come up with alternative ideas.
His process for coming up with ideas is called Conversations for creativity, a series of phases you go through with ideas and then winnowing down to the final idea.

His example for this process – 8:20.
The power squid which is one of his inventions, consisted of main power outlet with extendable extension cords attached. The concept for the arriving at a name entailed coming up with as many possibilities as you can without considering how good or bad they were. Doing this leaves you with a variety of options to decipher and evaluate than just looking for one name then realizing its not good and moving on to another. In the end you use less energy and your brain can more effectively work, because the part of the brain that you use to evaluate ideas is different to the part that generates possibilities.

Triggering Thoughts by doing the this process – 10:04
While looking for answers and you may end up jotting down things that can help you bring ideas to the surface. For example putting on paper as much of the obvious ideas that you can come up with which will exhaust you brain so much so that it moves from the analytical mind to the intuitive mind and it will start looking for connections you can consciously make on your own. With practice the goal is for you to do less and less and let ya mind just flow and bring the answers to you, instead of forcing.

(in trailer man voice ) In a world where *blank* does *blank* – 14:14
You can use this technique to come up with ideas for names of things either physical like a product or non physical like book name etc. You imagining in a world where it occurs and then visualizing the item in it, you brain fills in the gaps to bridge what would be necessary in the instance.

Branding and infringing on existing names or services – 17:26
Now that you have a name you have to see if the name suits the purpose of the product as well if the customers will be enticed to purchase with the name attached. Other things you have to look out for is if there are other businesses using the name, so that you wont be in any legal water. Even if the name is available for use can it give a good search availability.

The group creating process or Group Mind Process – 19:44.
This is a group where they come up with possibilites and agree to different ground rules –
1) You are not analyzing product, you are seeking possibilities.
2) Ask questions not shutting down possibilites. Ask open ended questions to expand possibilites.
3) Looking for the gold – If someone has an idea but you think its not a very good idea, you can still see something valuable from it which may lead to the better idea.
4) You’re not waiting your turn you are listening carefully to what each person has to say and building upon it.

Two quick points
No one gets credit for ideas in the brainstorm – 23:48
This causes bickering, confusion and losing focus on the main purpose of the group conversation. Not everyone gives the best ideas but they serve other roles in the group such as a person who asks the right questions which leads to other possibilities.

“When ego’s drop away the best ideas win.” – 26:01
Creating an environment that makes it comfortable for each person to contribute their ideas without criticism also those who think the purpose is to have their idea be the best one is not required.

What are most effective ways to launch a physical product today – 29:00
Chris says the best way is to use crowd funding because you are actually pre selling the product to people to gain capital before yo launch the final product. He used Indiegogo  which is a crowdfunding website that lets you campaign your cause and have people support it through providing funds.

The product was named quick key – 31:28
it was small as the size of a key and could cut various items and also have a bottle opener. The goal was to raise 4000 with an ideal goal of 20000 dollars and ended up raising 221000 dollars.

The possibilities of crowd funding – 33:54
In the past you would have to create a product invest and raise capital yourself with not even knowing if the product when it goes into the market would sell. This all created a greater risk for the business, where as in crowdfunding your biggest investment is the time and effort towards creating the product.

The biggest kickstarter campaign of all time – 36:48
The coolest cooler created by Ryan Greppar. Although the invention was a good once he went about trying to promote and get it funded at the wrong time, he started the kickstarter in the winter when people didn’t really need a cooler. Chris assisted and then around the summer he got a payout of 13million dollars.

Chris’ keys to being a success when you want to be crowd funded – 39:56
1) Have a product that’s appropriate for venue and visually appealing to your audience. for eg. techy item for the tech savvy.
2) preparation of marketing, having the customer aware of the product via social media and on the said crowd funding site so that you build momentum to launch date. If you don’t get to 30% of your funding goal in the first 48 hours you chances to get full funding drop greatly as time goes on. Properly setting your goal also makes or break crowd participation for funding your product, setting too unrealistically can scare away potential customers. High quality and entertaining video of the product is key along with detailed information of the perks a person funding you will receive before the mainstream buyers ensure a higher turnout.

Quick note – Study what previous successful people have done and also there are articles all over the internet, Indigogo and Kickstarter have best practices information on things like perk structure etc. Indigogo has consultants on hand to give you advice on your campaign to better help you present a solid launch to the audience.

3)After launch make sure to answer questions from the public, have updates on social media of any changes, progress etc. Its and ongoing project not free money, you have to be prepared to work 40 – 60 days.

In the end the campaign isn’t really all that profitable – 47:06
It’s just money to be used to start the product, produce it, deliver the products then there are fees from kickstarter/indigogo, paying for ads, reinvesting etc. The money received is more for creation of the tool so that you don’t go into debt or have to sell equity, it sets you up after the campaign to decide if you want to go into manufacturing of the product or if you want to license it.

What Chris is most grateful for recently – 55:01

What is his definition of greatness – 56:10
Being 100 percent authentically you.
Final thoughts about this podcast is not gonna be that long, Chris gave me some great insight into techniques for being creative as well as having a group to improve the process even more. As for the crowd funding information i for one at this moment is not interested in doing a campaign but who knows i have the ideal points if needed.

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