In today’s installment of “Brainstorming with Innovator” we invite one of our most prolific and active members, Thomas Williams. Tom has been a member of the site for at least a year and since joining he has been a phenomenal source of innovation and a deep well of ideas. He has made a name for himself on the platform and is part of a unique and dynamic duo – his wife, Kelly Williams is just as creative and innovative. As a member of Betterific myself, it’s fun to see how they bounce ideas off each other and build upon each other’s ideas. Tom recently won the grand prize for the ibeer challenge.
Read on below to learn more about how Tom comes up with his ideas, the process he uses to brainstorm on Betterific, and why he continues to participate in our innovation and idea generation competitions. Interestingly, Tom suggests that we run a Betterific challenge on Betterific, which is a great idea. Well, Tom, you’ve got it. When we launch our new site, we’ll kick it off with a meta-Betterific challenge!
MW: What do you when you’re not brainstorming on Betterific? Thomas Williams (TW): I work in the communications industry, I design networks and sell the components that make up the networks. I make computers talk to each other. I have always been a bit of a nerd and enjoy the tec
hnical aspects of computers and networking.
MW: Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t know from your resume. TW: I am a navy veteran who likes to eat. I am married to a fantastic cook who makes the best hamburgers (my favorite food), I like to bake cakes, and used to love to Disco Dance .
MW: Betterific members are ideas people! If you’re open to it, what BIG idea are you thinking about/sitting on? TW: I am constantly thinking of new ideas for computer networking, how to solve everyday problems people might have with their own networks at home or in the office.
MW: When you get an invitation to join a Betterific innovation challenge, how do you approach the challenge? TW: I try to brainstorm everything I can think of that could possibly be a match for what they are looking for. I check my ideas against ideas that have been posted, then I use a simple Google search to make sure it is original. Then I talk to my wife Kelly, and bounce the idea off of her for confirmation that the idea is not totally pathetic. I have also spent the time to draw out a really good idea and present the drawing with the idea as backup .
MW: Where do your “good ideas come from?” TW: My best ideas come as sparks. They come from personal experiences and needs, and just smack me upside the head, a ohh wow moment.
MW: What have you enjoyed most about the Betterific platform? And what do you like most about the community? TW: It is fun coming up with and sharing the ideas on a social platform where you get feedback on your ideas. Helping others to possibly fine tune their betterif. The interaction with other members is a great part of Betterific. Also seeing some really great ideas from others and then actually seeing some of those ideas come to market like the ones from the Target Back to School Challenge.
MW: If you were CEO of Betterific for a day, what would you improve about the platform? TW: The first thing I would do is start a new challenge! A Betterific challenge for Betterific, getting all the members input as to how to improve it. Second I would allow more characters to be included to describe a betterif. Possibly allow the attachment of a file or .dwg to better convey your idea. Finally I would implement a marketing program to get better branding and visibility for Betterific. More people need to know about the platform and get involved!
To participate in our crowdsourced idea generation challenges, please sign up for our site! If you’re a brand and want to run an innovation challenge, please check out our enterprise site.