brainstore : the idea machine

Are you in an industry where you need to constantly generate ideas? Ever wondered if there is a specific process that will guarantee a good idea in the end? According to my fabulous friend Nadja Schnetzler, there is, and she’s written a book about it: “The Idea Machine: How ideas can be produced industrially” I’ve just finished reading it and it gave many clues.

Nadja Schnetzer and her husband Markus Mettler are well respected and known “Brains” in Switzerland.They’ve founded a buzzling idea-shop called Brainstore about 12 years ago, and now, see for yourself, their client list is impressive. You’ve might have heard of them as they have been written up in many of the big magazines here in the States.

I’ve worked with them on their ‘creative teams’ back when I was still residing in Europe. Their approach to generating ideas is absolutely refreshing and actually works!! They’ve come up with a thorough process of idea finding which is described here.

The thing I like the best about their shop is the fact, that everyone can walk in and ‘buy an idea’. Their ideas range from $10 up to a million. Every time I see Nadja I ask her about new Idea-Purchase stories and believe me, she has many. There’s the baker down the street that walked in and wanted an idea for a new croissant like pastry. Or there is the father who wanted to get an idea on how to get his daughters to spend less time on the phone and therefore lower his phone bill. Or, there are companies like Novartis walking in and asking for an idea for a new ‘functional food product’. The stories are endless. Read through their client list and what ideas they approached Brainstore for.

In her book, Nadja illustrates her idea-generating theory with numerous examples from her experiences as a co-founder and CEO of Brainstore. If you’re in an industry that demands fresh ideas, pick it up, it’s an interesting read. And if you’re ever in Biel (Switzerland), make sure to pop in at the Brainstore, these guys are fabulous. (Read the bios of the “Brains” who work there, you get a sense of what an unique company the Brainstore is!)

Yep, I am a huge fan of the Brainstore.