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Why Not? Open Source Movement for Ideas

Why Not? Open Source Movement for Ideas

WhyNot.net is a open source movement (licensed under a Creative Commons) which allows people to contribute their ideas on things that they have never thought of. The site’s inspiration is coming from the book WHY NOT? How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big and Small:

In WHY NOT? How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big and Small (Harvard Business School Press; October 24, 2003), Yale economics professor Barry Nalebuff and Yale law professor Ian Ayers reveal four simple tools that can help you dream up ingenious ideas for changing how we work, shop, live, and govern. While most of us equate innovation with high-tech breakthroughs discovered by rocket scientists, the truth is that many important ideas are the result of good, old-fashioned ingenuity—and everyday innovators like you and me. Think right on red, rolling luggage, spinning toothbrushes, or even prewashed lettuce—now a billion dollar business.

Here are several good ideas coming from the site:

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Better Brake Light

While current center brake lights were an improvement over the old left and right brake light system, most standard brake light systems suffer the same weakness… they do not indicate the level of deceleration.

I would propose that car companies should develop a center brake light which behaves similarly to a “level meter”. This level meter would probably have about 10 distinct squares of red light. These squares would be illuminated from left to right and more lights would be lit based on the strength of braking and/or deceleration levels.

For emergency braking, a small strobe would be activated to warn drivers behind that emergency braking is taking place ahead of them. This could minimize the possibilities for pile ups and rear end collisions.
— tazlake

GPS and Digital Photos

Combine GPS and digital photography so that the exact geographical location of a picture is captured in the header of the code.

There’s probably a lot of cool uses for this but the ones that come to mind are:

historians – 50 yrs from now historians could compare photographs that were taken from exact same perspective over time to see how a city grew.

forensic photography? Any others?

— Rosie

Currently whynot.net contains 248 categories and 1819 ideas, it is a great site to get ideas and innovation minds.


Why Not Open Source Movement – [whynot.net – Make: Blog]

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Leon Ho

Founder of Lifehack

Book summary: A Technique for Producing Ideas Finding Your Inside Time 10 Ways to Extend Laptop Battery Life Bob Parsons on His 16 Rules for Survival Free note taking templates and techniques

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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