The Betterific Blog

Connecting consumers with brands to crowdsource and innovate on product ideas.

Brainstorming with Innovator Dan Pick

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When you win a Betterific crowdourced innovation challenge you get a number of perks – the prize winnings, the bragging rights, and access to the bully pulpit!  We want to make you famous for your creativity.  When you win a challenge, you embody what Robert F Kennedy said: “Some men see things as they are and ask why.  I dream things that never were and ask why not.”

This is the first in our “Brainstorming with…” series.  We’re excited to have Dan Pick, who’s been a member of Betterific since we first started.  Dan is an ideator in the true sense of the word – he’s submitted hundreds  of ideas, has participated in countless challenges and has won his fair share.  Below is an interview we had with Dan, where we ask him about his techniques, some insight into how he brainstorms, and for some suggestions on how to make Betterific even better!  Dan has a really interesting perspective on ideation and gives us a window into his futuristic concepts.

Dan won our Hyundai Innovation Challenge.  Dan is a Manager in North Highland’s Strategy Division.  We’re lucky to count him as a member of the Betterific community.  To join the Betterific community, head over to our site and sign up!  It’s a great way to flex your idea muscles.  (Below is the slightly edited post).

Winner picture oneMW: What do you when you’re not brainstorming on Betterific?  Daniel E Pick (DEP) : I like to tinker with an Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Also, currently training for a half marathon!

MW: Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t know from your resume. DEP: I’m teaching myself data science skills, and will try to find applications to help non-profits, my company (better understand the needs of the customer) and myself.

MW: What are you working on that really excites you? DEP: Working with the Arduino is probably the most exciting, because I’ve completed projects more easily and in much less time than similar projects in electrical engineering classes in college.  

MW: Betterific members are ideas people!  If you’re open to it, what BIG idea are you thinking about/sitting on?  DEP: I’m somewhat of a futurist, exploring how weak signals present today will manifest in 10-20 years. One idea, which is probably much closer to reality than 10 years out, is combining virtual reality and augmented reality with a haptic suit to compliment travel and most activities. You could “climb” Kilimanjaro, “play” soccer with friends scattered around the country/world, have a first person immersion into a historical event, attend a virtual work meeting and/or work remotely but have the sensations of being co-located with your colleagues.Winner picture two

MW: When you get an invitation to join a Betterific innovation challenge, how do you approach the challenge?  Do you sketch out some ideas on paper?  Do you go the page to get inspired by other people’s ideas?  Any good techniques you want to share? DEP: My goal is to first jot down as many ideas as possible from top of mind. Then, I put them aside and envision myself using the product/service. I think about what ideas could be quick fixes, as well as some “pie in the sky” ideas. Sometimes, Betterific users prefer the grandiose ideas, but those are harder and more expensive to implement. So, I try to include some easier ideas to help the company that launched the campaign (even if those ideas don’t get a lot of votes). Finally, I review ideas from other users. That sometimes gives me more inspiration. All of this occurs over a few days. Then, I pause for a few days and typically try to return for another brainstorming session.

MW: Where do your “good ideas come from?” DEP: I don’t think that I have better ideas than others, per se. I just focus on generating a lot of ideas, and some good ones typically result. Here’s a fun fact – Mozart composed 600 pieces of music, Beethoven created 650, and Bach had more than 1000. Of course, only a small number of them became hits.

MW: If you were CEO of Betterific for a day, what would you improve about the platform? DEP: Three Suggestions: Have users submit their own campaign suggestions for one week. The top idea could either be selected by the Betterific team or through votes from the Betterific community. Then, for one week, Betterific users could submit ideas to solve that particular problem. Two: The site needs to include an easier way to aggregate the betterifs. Within a challenge, I can see who the thought leaders are. I should be able to click the number next to their name and view their betterifs just for the challenge. In addition, the top-voted ideas should be at the top of the feed, regardless of the date they were submitted. Then, it would be easier to find the top-voted ideas. Three: It would be better if there was follow-up to the challenges. Which ideas did the company like? Do they have any feedback about the campaign? Are there opportunities for Betterific users to serve as members of a focus group or complete surveys aimed to glean consumer preferences? Also, it would be helpful to know the goals of the campaign – Does the company aim to receive 500+ submissions, including at least 10-20 quick-wins and 50+ longer-term considerations that they can share with R&D?

MW: What have you enjoyed most about the Betterific platform? And what do you like most about the community? DEP: It’s really cool to have a forum to share ideas. Although it’s great to help companies, I especially enjoy when a Betterific user posts something that the community is able to solve for them. That’s powerful!

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